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Welcome to Village Portland, neighborhood news & actions in East Portland.

We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.

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Read more about how to get involved and promote your business or organization below, or you’re an organizer or writer interested in bringing a Village Portland to your neighborhood, contact Andrew Wilkins, Publisher & Editor:

andrewtaylorwilkins@gmail.com

Read more…

This weekend

By ANDREW WILKINS

Ballots for the Portland City Council run-off election between Dan Ryan and Loretta Smith are due August 11th. Both were hosted on Oregon Public Broadcasting‘s Talk Out Loud earlier this week. Read about them and listen to the program here.

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At July’s Lents Neighborhood Livability Association, Tremaine Clayton of Portland Fire & Rescue gave an update on Portland Street Response, a program to respond to non-emergency calls with trauma-informed care, freeing up police for other duties.

He said due to the pandemic, the program has been delayed. In a SE Examiner story, Clayton said he’s responding to calls with a social worker 40 hours a week now. But when PSR fully comes on-line, the program has been expanded to include 18 vans. It’s likely to begin in early 2021, he said.

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Beginning next week, Portland Metro Arts presents “Brush Up Your Shakespeare Workshop”. This workshop helps teach students develop the skills of acting, improvisation, and stage presence (Ages 12 – 18).

Learn more, and register here.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7TH

Don’t Shoot PDX art exhibition:

“Stop Killing Us: A Black Lives Still Matter Exhibition” runs August 6–29 at Holding Contemporary. The gallery has social distancing rules in place, but much of the show can be seen from the street.

Read more about the exhibit and Don’t Shoot PDX’s work in PDX Monthly here.

916 NW Flanders St * Aug 6th – 29th, Thu – Sat, noon – 5 p.m. 

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 8TH

East Portland BLM march:

There’s a youth-led Black Lives Matter march in East Portland today. Organizers ask that participants wear a mask and practice social distancing.

There are more events listed for this weekend on the Portland BLM calendar here.

Berrydale Park, SE Taylor & SE 92ND * 3 p.m.

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Organic fruit:

commons.wikimedia.org

It’s become somewhat of a big deal in Montavilla… the arrival of the fruit folks. They’ll be setting up again at 74th & Clackamas at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

The peach varieties they’re selling are Sierra Rich and Suncrest. It’s certified organic, and they’re taking social distancing precautions.

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Hip hop for African American teens:

Hosted by Sankofa Healing Center‘s ZaDora Williams, “Hip Hop & Mental Health for African American Teens”

The online class was scheduled for today, but cancelled due to lack of participants. It will be re-scheduled in September.

For more information, go here.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9TH

Farmers markets: 

The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday during its season; learn more about their vendors here. They only have the vendor’s from last week on their site, but we’re in the full bloom of summer so expect berries, stone fruit, and plenty of vegis.

7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

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Lents International Farmers Market is also on Sunday.

Learn more about the market here, including how to “double up” your SNAP benefits.

SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St 9 am – 2 pm

Mainstream media is scamming us, one indie journalist says

By ROSIE RIDDLE

Photo by Rosie Riddle

Editor’s note: We added feedback from one of the local journalists about sourcing video from Rosie. His feedback is italicized in the story. We moved the journalist’s comments lower in the story, and also changed the headline to reflect that calling the inquiries a scam was the writer’s perspective.

The estimated net worth of NBC is $35 billion as of July 2020. 

The combined salaries of four of the top five news anchors working for ABC News is reported to be $20 million. 

KOIN 6 News is an affiliate of CBSwhose market value is about $18 billion.

These are just some of the major news outlets that reached out to me a few weeks ago when footage I took of Multnomah County Sheriff Officers t-boning a motorist with their squad car after a protest against police brutality caught their attention.

This footage was viewed over two hundred thousand times, showing police stopping a vehicle attempting to obey their dispersal orders, breaking the Portlander’s window, and then t-boning their vehicle with a MCSO vehicle when they tried to escape a terrifying situation.

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Throughout the two months of protests that have been happening in Portland, Oregon, major news outlets have been reaching out to many freelance journalists here.

All too often our local journalists— who are putting their life and well being on the line every night in attempts to show the world what is happening here— are not offered compensation of any kind.

For me personally, these attempts to license my footage were particularly insulting.

On top of being asked to give up the rights to the footage that I took at my own risk and without any compensation, I was refered to as a “community member” and a “citizen journalist”, a term which apparently means “a journalist that I don’t expect to have to pay”.

This is despite presenting myself in every interaction as a freelance journalist, a job which I did previously for nearly two years. I have begun working as a freelance journalist again during these Black Lives Matter protests— and have seen many of the journalists out there being injured and burnt out while covering all of this.

***

Erin Calabrese contacted me from ABC News. They asked if I would, “agree to allow ABC News and its licensees to use and distribute it without restriction in all media” and linked me to a document showing their media licensing agreement which included a paragraph about how they would not pay for my footage, and several paragraphs about how they would be free to use it without restriction in any way, including distributing it to other networks.

When Danny Peterson of KOIN 6 News contacted me, he offered “attribution” for the video, which he asked to put on KOIN’s website. KOIN’s website had a reported 1.71 million views in June of 2020 alone. 

When I informed him that in addition to attribution as, “a freelance journalist, Rosie Riddle”, specifically, I also required compensation for the use of my footage.

He claimed that he would ask his editor as, “we’ve done this before for freelancers”. A statement which to me indiciated that they were indeed in the habit of taking footage for free, something I would find out later is a fairly standard practice in journalism.

Incensed by these interactions and these networks apparent disregard for the danger I had to put myself in in order to create this footage, I tweeted about it, calling on major networks to pay the journalists who’s work they wanted to use.

Peterson, a digital enterprise reporter with KOIN 6, reached out to us with concerns about how he was depicted in the story. He wanted our readers to know that when he responded to Rosie’s request for payment, he apologized for not knowing she was a journalist and directed her to those who deal with freelancers. He said is job is to help report on stories in the community, and that includes reaching out for interviews, and sometimes video and photographs. 

I also called out KOIN specifically for having been there, on the ground, but they left moments before the police began to be violent towards the protesters who were doing little else but chanting. 

A tweet calling on major networks to pay journalists for the work we do, showing screenshots of direct messages I had recieved from two such networks.

It wasn’t until the day after these interactions that Suzanne Ciechalski contacted me with NBC News. They asked me about my licensing fees in the initial message, and directly linked to the footage they were asking to use, a first on both counts for these interactions.

I quoted them at slightly higher than my research indicated was an acceptable rate for someone as unknown as I am in journalism, and several hours later they asked for my email to send their standard licensing agreement for me to sign.

A day later I received said email, and had further questions, as the wording throughout was unclear and seemed to indicate that they would be able to source any of my footage, at any time, without contacting me. This left me to have to figure out that they were using it and invoice them to collect my fee, which they stated they would pay “within 75 days”. 

After sorting out my questions, and being told that I was mis-understanding their licensing agreement, I signed it and sent it back to them. Unfortunately by this point they had lost interest in using the footage they had originally contacted me for. I was told that if I produced anything else they were interested in, I would be contacted again. 

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Photo by Rosie Riddle

All this is to say, by and large, it seems to me like major news outlets do not value their freelance counterparts. In the day of the 24-hour news cycle and public interest moving on from things at the speed of the internet, I understand why there is a rush to source footage and get it into the public eye as quickly as possible. I can also see why licensing and payment agreements hold this process up.

But similarly, we live in the age of Cash App and Venmo and being able to pay people for their work near instantly.

Asking freelance journalists, who often don’t have access to the same tools and resources that big news outlets have to write invoices and sign legal documents we may or may not understand, seems like a deliberate effort to force our hand and say, “well exposure is good too, I guess”.

But frankly, until we live in a world where the cost of living isn’t a barrier to working for free, this is unacceptable.

***

Rosie is a houseless trans activist and writer with a focus on tech and queer advocacy. Originally from California, she’s been a Portland resident for over a decade.

This weekend

By ANDREW WILKINS

Last night, at the protests for better policing and Black Lives Matter downtown, it seemed like there was a big win for Portlanders.

Folks got to gather and protest without being assaulted with gas and munitions. Police thanked folks for helping to stop mis-behavior— a task that protesters showed can be done without a militarized response.

Last night was the first night of protests since the recent handover from federal officials to Oregon State Police. Hopefully, this peaceful evening marks a shift in tactics to a more peaceful and proportional reaction from law enforcement officers at these protests.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1ST

According to East PDX News, volunteers with “Parkrose Stepping Up” is hosting a pop up pantry. It’s an opportunity for neighbors who need it to get food, pet food, and basic supplies for free. 

There’s be live music at 1 p.m.

Contact Terry Murphy for more information, or to volunteer or donate goods: terrypdx1@gmail.com.

Parkrose Hardware parking lot, 10625 NE Sandy Blvd. * noon – 4 pm

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2ND

BLM daily events:

Would you like to find a way to show your support for better policing and Black Lives Matter?

There are many small-scale community actions that where you can participate. Many are family friendly.

Go to the PDX BLM events page for more info:

https://www.pdx-blm-events.com/neighborhood-actions/

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Farmers markets:

The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday, learn more about their vendors for this week’s market here.

7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

***

Lents International Farmers Market is also Sunday!

Learn more about the market here, including how to “double up” your SNAP benefits.

SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St 9 am – 2 pm

This weekend

By ANDREW WILKINS

Village Portland was started to focus on neighborhoods— to help report on the issues that don’t always rise to the attention of citywide media, and the hard-working advocates that make this city great.

In this coverage, I realized that there are often natural reporters in these communities, and storytellers from all sorts of backgrounds who want help sharing what they see.

It’s awesome that the Internet has broadened opportunities for this kind of storytelling, but some folks still want a little help— help with editing and story telling, as well as help sharing these stories with their community.

Over the past few years, we’ve told some awesome stories, worked with some great storytellers, and done our best to serve our communities and Portland in general.

And then the protests for better policing / Black Lives Matter started.

In Portland, we’ve seen many indie journalists make a name for themselves by recording the clashes between police and protesters. As an advocate for indie journalism, it’s been fascinating to watch these folks use new media like Twitter and livestreaming to tell their stories, mixing in their opinions, values, and humor… as they work in a dangerous environment which more resembles war than the safe spaces where most reporting happens.

It’s also been awesome to see the world rise up to support this important coverage.

Both Cory Elia and Lesley McLam have worked with Village Portland, and we’ve enjoyed making connections with other indies. We’ve also publishing two really cool stories by Rosie Riddle that really get to the heart of the amazing community support / mutal aid happening on our streets. We also did a long interview with Dr. Juniper Simonis, who is an advocate that uses research and videography to in their efforts to push back on police brutality and over-reach. Much of this coverage moves lightning-quick, so follow us on Twitter @villageportland for the latest.

Two things: thank you for your brave coverage, you wonderful indie journalists; and I want you to know we’re here if you need help. I know there are a lot of stories out there being missed— on the streets and in Portland— and we’re to help you tell them.

Our rates aren’t amazing, but they’re in line with what freelancers make in this town. We also provide editing and mentoring on a level that other media orgs simply don’t have time for— as well as a level of respect that most outlets don’t offer.

Along with that, we also have a paid project for someone in Portland’s indie journalist community. We need help with archiving, editing, and assisting during the protest coverage.

You’d be working directly with Cory, who has been doing this kind of coverage for years and has gained national and international coverage of his work.

Cory’s coverage at the protests has been his own independent work, but we support him as much as possible and wanted to include this project with our renewed call to Portland’s indie freelance journalists and storytellers.

Contact me, Andrew Wilkins at andrewtaylorwilkins@gmail.com / Twitter: @tweetatwilkins; or Cory on Twitter: @therealcoryelia if you’d like to know more.

Again, indie journaists: thanks for your work in the streets and renewing folks trust and support for media.

It’s essential to this movement and essential to a free society— especially as we face increased repression and brutality from both local and federal government.

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SATURDAY, JULY 25TH

Park restoration (event):

“Saturday July 25th join us at our first in person event for the summer! First opportunity to join for returning volunteers and Creek Crew Leaders.”

Register here.

Johnson Creek in Centennial * 9 a.m. – noon

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Parklane Park Design Reveal (event):

“Drop by for a self-guided tour starting at the gate on the southeast side of Parklane Park (by Parklane Elementary). We will open up the fenced area, and provide a one-way walking route, with a few stops highlighting the location of future park amenities.”

Parklane Elementary School, 15811 SE Main St * 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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Music & movement (event):

The Multnomah County Library system have moved their events online. Register for this family-friendly event here.

Online * 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

SUNDAY, JULY 26TH

Exploring the city’s trees:

The City of Portland is calling it a “Pop-up Arboretum”, and it’s another good reason for neighbors to get out and enjoy our excellent parks system.

Zoom in on any park in the city, and learn more about the trees that live there. The map is here.

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On Sunday is the Lents International Farmers Market!

Learn more about the market here, including how to “double up” your SNAP benefits.

SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St 9 am – 2 pm

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The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday, and a great way to link in with the creators and growers in the area.

Learn more about the market and vendors here.

7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

Community support at Chapman Square

By ROSIE RIDDLE

I’ve been hearing the words, “community support” and “mutual aid” being tossed around a lot lately, generally being offered as an alternative to relying on often under-funded or inefficient government services.

But what does mutual aid look like? How does a community offer support? Well, a good example is Riot Ribs.

Riot Ribs is a small group of volunteers who have organized on the corner of SW 3rd Avenue & SW Salmon Street, right across the street from the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland.

They’re just a handful of folks with grills offering free food to anyone who wants it, living and operating out of Chapman Square.

The side of the blue tent where Riot Ribs operates. Signs hanging on it say “Free BBQ” and “Riot Ribs, Food is Free, Donations Appreciated”.
Photo by Rosie Riddle

They started when one man showed up to the nightly protests in Chapman Square with his grill, some ribs, and a desire to see folks get fed. Soon after a group formed and took over when he left.

They’ve since been operating 24 hours a day, for 8 days straight, stopping only long enough to sleep for a couple hours, before getting back to grilling. They’re offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all comers, and asking for donations in order to keep running.

That’s the community support part.

They’re entirely community run, being all volunteers working for free, grilling up food entirely donated by the community, or purchased with money similarly donated.

Most of their volunteers are houseless folks who understand what it’s like to not have their needs met; folks who want to make sure that the folks in the area have what they need.

A sign outside the tent where Riot Ribs is cooking that reads, “By Community, For Community”.
Photo by Rosie Riddle

I had the opportunity to speak with Isaiah, one of the folks grilling for Riot Ribs. He told me that part of their mission is to “empower folks to stay out there 24/7 and to support their community”.

Isaiah also told me that they have no intention of stopping any time soon. He said, “as long as there is a line for food we’re going to keep cooking”. In fact, they recently spent about 53 hours straight cooking, because the line simply never let up.

When asked if they had any long term goals for Riot Ribs, Isaiah said that they would like to start a restaurant here in Portland, and eventually expand to have food trucks in Seattle and down in San Fransisco as well. But they said that’s a long ways off and for now their only goal is to keep making sure that when people are hungry, they are fed.

At the prompting of, and with the help of, one of their volunteers (who asked to be referred to only as Beans) they’ve started a social media account on Twitter (@RiotRibs). Through this account, they are able to update the community on the things they need, and also post occasional status updates when necessary.

An info-graphic for Riot Ribs showing their Twitter handle, explaining what they do, and showing a list of items for donation that they are accepting.

Isaiah and another of the volunteers there, called Lil Dill, both have prior experience with food service, and work hard to make sure that the grill is constantly filled with everything from ribs and burgers, to vegan patties, and occasionally hot dogs.

They also often are able to offer sides to go with their barbecue whenever donations allow it.

I had a chance to try some lamb ribs straight off of the grill at one point and their skill in the kitchen is plainly apparent.

A picture of some ribs on the grill, with fire leaping up above them.
Photo by Rosie Riddle

As for mutual aid, while I was talking with the kind folks of Riot Ribs, I witnessed them asking to borrow a wheeled cart from a nearby group, The Witches, and in exchange they sent over a plate of their grilled goodies.

Later on in the night, Riot Kitchen, who had been doing something very similar to Riot Ribs but up in Seattle at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, dropped by to donate all the food they had left, after police shut them down.

One of the folks who helped to run Riot Kitchen, called Mayhem, told me they had so much food left over and didn’t want to see it go bad, so they decided to come on down to Portland and see about setting up shop feeding folks down here, only to be surprised that Riot Ribs was already taking care of them.

I was absolutely blown away by everything I saw while I was talking with the folks of Riot Ribs, from their absolute dedication to supporting their community, to the lines forming outside the tent, forty-people long, for hours on end, to their commitment to upholding food and safety guidelines even given the fact they were operating out of a tent.

These people are, in my opinion, what community support is all about and I think that the hundreds of people they feed each day would agree with me.

A picture of Riot Ribs, the grill in the foreground, the tent in the background. Pictured are Isaiah and Lil Dill who are “just vibing”, their faces blacked out for their privacy.
Photo by Beans, @ComradeBeana on Twitter

***

Rosie is a houseless trans activist and writer with a focus on tech and queer advocacy. Originally from California, it’s been a Portland resident for over a decade.

This weekend

By ANDREW WILKINS

It’s uncommon for journalists to be part of the story, but during Portland’s protests for better policing in the wake of the death of George Floyd and others, Village Portland‘s Cory Elia and Lesley McLam certainly have.
Earlier this week, they filed a joint lawsuit against after multiple assaults by law enforcement officers while documenting the protests.

Both were arrested on June 30th during a march on the offices of the Portland Police Association, the Portland Police Bureau‘s rank-and-file officers’ union.

The Oregonian reports: “Two independent journalists file suit against Portland police, county sheriff’s deputies and state police”

This is one of several lawsuits filed against the City and local law enforcement.

Similar to other lawsuits, Elia and McLam seek better training for the police on civil disobedience, the importance of the media, and crowd de-escalation techniques. Their suit also seeks damages for injuries, and to bar police from violating journalists’ rights to free speech and assembly, and due process.

It’s been amazing to see Cory and Lesley stand up to police over-reach, and it’s also been amazing to see the community support their work.

They’re not the only ones down there risking their safety to cover these protests, while others do their own activist work covering meetings, researching laws, and amplifying all this great work.

I see this as the dawning of a new era of appreciation for independent journalists.

We’ve made contact with many of these awesome folks, done our best to spotlight their work, and are publishing some it. As the work for better policing expands from the streets into the legislative halls— we want to keep helping these indie reporters as much as possible. So if you’re reading this and wanna link up… please be in touch.

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57% of Portland youth qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year, according to the City of Portland— and when schools are closed, families have to fill the gap for those missed meals.

Lunch + Play events are planned all over the city to help out these families, and any Portlanders struggling with food insecurity. I ran across one in Montavilla Park earlier this week.

Many of the events are hosted in parks all over the city, with many in East Portland. See the schedule here.

FRIDAY, JULY 10TH

Montavilla Memories new article:

Today, we published another great article from Patricia Sanders. Read “The bicycle craze comes to Montavilla” here.

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Here’s a photo essay from a walk I took through Montavilla the other day.

What’s missing, is photos from Ho’s Automotive (8045 NE Glisan St), Muddworks Roastery (6922 NE Glisan St), and Santa Cruz Bakery & Taqueria (24 SE 82nd Ave).

View this post on Instagram

A short walk around Montavilla.

A post shared by Andrew Wilkins (@atwilkins) on

SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH

Summer reading:

Libraries are closed, but the Multnomah County‘s reading program “Imagine Your Story” is still happening! Learn more here.

This summer, we’ll encourage youth to “imagine your story” with fairytales, mythology, and fantasy. Our Summer Reading dragon, Shu Long, will help. “Shu Long” is Chinese pinyin of “書龍” which means “good reader like a dragon,” and we hope that Shu Long inspires many people to be good readers this summer! Read for fun and enter prize drawings! It’s free to play!

Check out the libraries selection of e-books here.

SUNDAY, JUNE 12TH

Farmers markets:

The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday, learn more about their vendors for this week’s market here.

The farmers market put the call out for volunteers for their market this week. If you can help, reach out to them on their website, here.

7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

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Lents International Farmers Market is also Sunday!

Learn more about the market here, including how to “double up” your SNAP benefits.

SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St * 9 am – 2 pm

***

Take good care and have a great weekend!

The bicycle craze comes to Montavilla

By PATRICIA SANDERS

“Cycle touring”, Harper’s Weekly, April 11, 1896 (artist, A. B. Frost):
Source: Library of Congress LC-USZ62-108253

Today, with the return of sunny weather and social distancing, it seems like more people than ever are riding bikes.

If you had been standing on Base Line Road (now SE Stark Street) on a summer weekend in 1900, you would probably have been amazed that the number of bicyclists. Multnomah County had just finished the Base Line Cycle Path, which was one of the most popular routes from Portland to the rural areas just beyond Montavilla.

This was the time of the bicycle craze that swept the nation from about 1895 to about 1900. In Portland, as elsewhere, the intensification of the fad is seen in bicycle sales. In 1897, 2,000 bicycles were purchased in Portland compared to the 14,000 to 18,000 in 1899 (Sunday Oregonian of September 17, 1899).

What accounts for the bicycle’s popularity? Partly the thrill of riding fast and far. But also the availability of the new Safety bicycle and lower costs made cycling less dangerous and more affordable to many. A new Vanguard, for instance, in 1896 cost $85, but by 1898 you could get a mail-order Acme for $39.50.

The Morning Oregonian of January 1, 1895 called the bicycle “the great leveler”, putting “the poor man on a footing with the rich”. That may be so, but with the average worker earning less than $800 a year— and women, minorities, and laborers at the lower end— event the cheapest bike would have been a sizable investment for many.

The bicycle faddists wanted to head out of the city and into the countryside for fresh air, exercise, and scenery. Initially, however, most roads were poorly maintained and crowded with horse-drawn vehicles, whose drivers did not yield kindly to cyclists.

To solve this problem, bicycle organizations, particularly the United Wheelmen’s Association, advocated cycle paths to be built, as in other United States cities, along existing roads. Who would pay for them? The bicyclists who used the paths. They would pay a 25-cent yearly tax per bike.

Base Line Road, then a major county thoroughfare, was one of the routes selected. Perhaps because it was already so heavily traveled, Multnomah County decided to construct four-foot wide paths on either side of the road. They were completed from the Morrison Bridge to Montavilla by March, 1900 and were soon finished all the way to Gresham.

What it was like to ride the new Base Line Road path, you may wonder? Here’s what one reporter wrote in the Morning Oregonian of March 26, 1900:

As the road is as level as any around Portland, and runs through a beautiful country, the route will no doubt be a favorite one. There is, to be sure, a stiff climb up the Mount Tabor hill, but there are no urgent reasons why the rider who is not inclined to exertion cannot get off and walk, and the view as the road swings around the north side of Mount Tabor is worth twice the climb. A dozen of the sinuous branches of Columbia Slough may be seen shining in the distance, the Peninsula country is spread before the rider, and closer at hand the cottages of Montavilla form a little city of themselves.

This article was accompanied by a map showing the entire system of bicycle paths east of the Willamette River.

“Routes to Bicycle Paths”, Morning Oregonian, March 26, 1900
Source: Historic Oregon Newspapers

 
Detail of Bicycle Path routes showing directions to the Base Line Path (on right)
Source: Historic Oregon Newspapers

The Morning Oregonian of October 16, 1900 called the Base Line Road cycle path “the most popular and attractive drive out of Portland”.

But what did Montavillans think of those throngs of weekend bikers whisking through their peaceful community? What did they think of those athletic wheelwomen, some undoubtedly wearing the new, shockingly “masculine” attire, such as bloomers, knickerbockers, and divided skirts? 

A woman wearing knickerbockers on a lady’s bike. Such “masculine” attire marked the beginning of more functional clothing for women.
Source: Maria E. Ward, Bicycling for Ladies, N. Y., Brentano’s, 1896 (Google book)

I can’t say what they thought of the controversial clothing, but some were definitely concerned about the dangers of bicycle traffic. In 1901, 80 residents signed a petition complaining about frequent accidents involving children. The County Court sided with the petitioners and ordered bicyclists to use the middle of Base Line, rather than pathways, for three blocks in Montavilla.

On the other hand, it seems likely that business owners who had food and drink to offer would welcome and benefit from the weekend bicyclists. We know from the September 17, 1899 Oregonian article on the bicycle trend that farmhouses and booths along Base Line Road were offering lunch and refreshments for bicyclists.

Several businesses located next to this bicycle path also stood to profit from the new traffic. 

Take Mrs. Winnie A. Burdett, for example. She owned a confectionery store, located about where the Academy Theater is today. Surely many bicyclists would like to stop there for a sweet treat. It hardly seems coincidental that, just as the bike path through Montavilla was completed, Mrs. Burdett announced plans to put up a summer garden and refreshment house on her property (Morning Oregonian, April 9, 1900).

Mrs. Winnie A. Burdett, Montavilla postmistress and shop owner on Base Line Road
Obituary, Oregon Journal, April 28, 1918
Source: Historic Oregon Newspapers

Mrs. Burdett’s neighbor, Captain Herman Schneider, who operated a saloon at the corner of Base Line and Hibbard Street (now SE 80th Avenue), probably also enjoyed an uptick in business.

This may have also prompted him to open a beer garden next to his tavern in 1902. In the grand opening announcement, he called it Schneider’s Family Garden

Diagonally across from Schneider’s saloon, was the Five-Mile Roadhouse, owned by William Grimes, Schneider’s arch-rival. He, too, may have benefited from the weekend bicyclists, although his tavern did have a certain reputation for rowdiness. (For more on the rivalry between Schneider and Grimes, see the Montavilla Memories story “How Montavilla went ‘dry’ or the tale of two saloons”).

Grocery store owners A. B. Horton and C. F. Weibusch on Base Line Road at that time also likely saw increased sales.

Since the Base Line Bicycle Path was built as the bicycle craze was fading, this boost to Montavilla business would have been short-lived. Fewer bicyclists meant fewer paying the bicycle tax, so maintenance began to slip.

In 1903, the Base Line path was still one of the most used, even though it had not been repaired for a year. By 1906, Portland cycle paths, in general, were disappearing. The Base Line Road path perhaps continued a little longer, but it is no longer mentioned in newspaper accounts after 1908. 

Many Montavillans were probably happy to see the weekend bicyclists go, but soon enough a new, even faster vehicle would appear.

In October, 1902, an auto traveling 35 miles per hour in Montavilla prompted locals to ask the Oregon legislature to impose speed limits on county roads. But that’s a story for another day.

Sunday Oregonian, September 16, 1906
Source: Historic Oregon Newspapers

***

Historical story ideas? Questions about Montavilla’s past? Also share a love for neighborhood history? 

Comment on the article at the link in the heading. Or you can reach out to Pat Sanders at pat.montavilla.history@gmail.com.

Read all of the “Montavilla Memories” articles by Pat Sanders here

The rise and fall of Portland’s “Elk”: 1900 – 2020

By ROSIE RIDDLE

In 1900, the 3,000-pound bronze “Elk” statue was erected between the Plaza Blocks in downtown Portland.

On July 2nd, after standing for 120 years, the elk was removed.

The elk was erected atop a fountain, with the intent of providing a watering hole and gathering place by the former mayor David P. Thompson. Serving from 1879 – 1882, Thompson commissioned the fountain and statue for the city in 1900.

“Yesterday’s Tomorrow – A Portland Journey” by Uncage the Soul Productions

Located in what used to be a feeding ground for elk, it has served its intended purpose, being a focal point and gathering spot at several times during the last month as the Black Lives Matter movement has held demonstrations at the nearby Multnomah County Justice Center.

However, during the last week, Portlanders have gathered more and more around the statue. On July 1st a fire was set around the base of the fountain and was kept burning for hours, a welcome heat on that chilly night.

The elk was featured in a number of images and live streams over the course of the night.

The Elk of Chapman Square on its final night atop its fountain, surrounded by fire and smoke.

The elk of downtown between Portland’s Plaza Blocks on its final night atop its fountain, surrounded by fire and smoke.
Photo by Donovan Farley, @DonovanFarley

As a result of the fire, the Portland Police Bureau launched an investigation, calling the damage left by the fire vandalism.

The Regional Arts and Culture Council, at the request of the City, also launched an investigation. After inspecting the fountain and the base upon which the statue sits, they decided that the damage to the stone fountain was severe enough that the statue could potentially topple and harm Portlanders in the process. 

So on July 2nd, after one hundred twenty years, the proud bronze elk statue was removed.

The City has stated that the elk is now in storage, with no plans so far for what will come next for the shiny four-legged icon.

Not to be deterred from their gathering, Portlanders have replaced the bronze elk statue with what is being called the tiny elk, pictured below, on the 4th of July. But protesters have refrained from lighting any more large fires at the base of the fountain.

A tiny elk placed atop a bundle of sticks taped together. There is a small fire nearby as a flag burns on what was the statues base. Photo by: @45thabsurdist

A tiny elk placed atop a bundle of sticks taped together. There is a small fire nearby as a flag burns on what was the statues base.
Photo by @45thabsurdist

The tiny elk has been present at the demonstrations every night since it was first placed, as a tribute to our fallen friend.

***

Rosie is a houseless trans activist and writer with a focus on tech and queer advocacy. Originally from California, it’s been a Portland resident for over a decade.

This weekend

By ANDREW WILKINS

It’s hard not to feel a sense of futility as we watch the Oregon Legislature weaken a raft of bills on police reform during its current special session.

It’s all been developing quickly over the past few days, and Oregon Public Broadcasting have updated the story the morning of Friday, June 26th.

OPB reports: Oregon Police Reform Package Sees Changes Headed Into Session’s Final Stretch

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It’s also disheartening to see factions form among folks organizing rallies and protests, but again, here we are.

We took a deep dive into a division among folks protesting and hosting rallies during this recent re-newed commitment to police reform and Black Lives Matter.

***

So under this current twisted legal system, where can a brave raccoon find justice? Only in civil court, it seems.

***

Restaurants and bars are open, face masks are required inside… it all seems like a contradiction.

Especially when this morning, State health officials predict an “exponential growth” in infections based on new modeling.

So if you’re going to be around other people, please take precautions.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26TH

All day today, there’s an art auction for Don’t Shoot PDX.

Here’s the link to see what’s for sale and as of this morning they’ve already raised nearly $6,500. The sale ends July 4th.

***

East County Educators for BLM (event):

“We will be lining SE Stark St and holding signs to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We will provide the signs or you can bring your own. We will be maintaining physical distancing and adults should wear face coverings.”

SE Stark & SE 185th * 5 pm

SATURDAY, JUNE 27TH

Ride against racism (event):

“Join your fellow classmates and community, as we bike, walk, and stroll together in a unified demonstration against the violence, death, and systematic, institutional racism against Black men, women, and children.”

From Boise-Elliot / Humboldt Elementary School to Sabin Elementary. Organizers are requiring social distancing and masks for adults.

Boise-Elliot / Humboldt Elementary School * 1 pm

***

Ride naked day (event):

“This year there will be no start location or start time due to Covid-19. Instead, riders are encouraged to celebrate World Naked Bike Ride DAY — riding wherever they’d like whenever they’d like on June 27th.”

various locations * all day

***

Standing at the gate:

Folks are asking for more turnout at the Multnomah County Justice Center downtown. There have been assaults multiple injuries so attend at your own risk. It’s not recommended for children or animals.

The gathering has happened every night since the protests began, and are expected to continue…

MC Justice Center, 1120 SW 3rd Ave * 9 pm

SUNDAY, JUNE 28TH

On Sunday is the Lents International Farmers Market!

Learn more about the market here, including how to “double up” your SNAP benefits.

SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St * 9 am – 2 pm

***

The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday, and a great way to link in with the creators and growers in the area.

Learn more about the market and vendors here.

7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

***

Stay safe, and enjoy your weekend!

Activists question goals and leadership of prominent new Portland civil rights group

By ANDREW WILKINS

Rose City Justice, a civil rights collective that has hosted many prominent marches and rallies recently, has committed to a restructuring, equity and sensitivity training, more transparency with funds, and to work with long-standing Portland organizations.

This came in a statement today, June 25th, after criticism had been directed at the group.

Multiple daily protests have all risen out of the nation-wide outcry of Black Lives Matter and call for reform since the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Throughout the city, Portlanders have been vocal in their support of the movement, and the call for better policing.

Out of these protests, the RCJ was formed. After a month of protests, RCJ’s their nearly-nightly, family-friendly events and marches have drawn big crowds and attention from local mainstream media.

RCJ are calling for a series of police reforms including divestment of funding and reinvesting those funds into communities of color.

Read their goals here.

Despite their popularity, some long-time organizers, and some those protesting nightly at the Multnomah County Justice Center, are questioning the goals and leadership of the group.

Much of the criticism has been towards Darren Harold-Golden, one of the group’s leaders. On his Indeed profile, he lists that he worked as a United States Air Force military police officer from 2011 to 2018. He now works as a policy specialist for the Urban League of Portland and as an intern for the Oregon Legislature.

The group was established as a non-profit on June 11, 2020. Harold-Golden and Daniel Rosenburg, both from Portland, are listed as the principals.

RCJ responds to critics

Yesterday, Wednesday, June 24th, RCJ cancelled their planned march. On their Instagram page, a message apologized for the group’s lack of accountability based on unacceptable behavior including “silencing, neglecting feedback from our communities”, especially Black queer voices. In that message they called for questions and feedback from their supporters.

Also on Wednesday, several young Black activists on a Instagram account called jadex666 grilled Harold-Golden on several topics in a livestream: including sexually-suggestive comments he made about teenage women; privacy about data collection and privacy on RCJ’s website; his history in law enforcement; and other issues.

RCJ continued their activism Thursday morning, with a rally for Letha Wilson, mother of Patrick Kimmons, a Black man shot and killed by Portland Police in 2018.

According to Fox 12, Letha and the activists supporting her want the case re-opened and a change to Portland Police Bureau‘s use of force policy. Patrick, who was armed and engaged in a gun battle in downtown Portland, was shot nine times by police. A grand jury ruled the officers’ actions as legal self defense at the end of October of that year.

OPB reports: “2 Portland Officers Cleared In Fatal Shooting Of Patrick Kimmons”

Divergent groups

Parallel to RCJ events and marches, which have largely been violence-free, hundreds of people have been gathering at the Multnomah County Justice Center and nearby parks every night. These rallies and marches have been more tense, and unprovoked police violence (two of many examples 1, 2) against protesters and the media have attracted national and international news.

In the face of these threats from police, many who gather at the Justice Center seem to resent RCJ’s unwillingness to join them downtown. Many of the JC crew seem to believe that RCJ’s police-conflict-free gatherings and marches aren’t doing enough to confront the system and demand change.

In an interview with Village Portland Managing Editor Cory Elia near the Justice Center, the activist below also believes these new groups don’t understand the local history around reform, don’t know the local, long-term leaders, and don’t know that local white supremacist are attending— and menacing— their events.

Some protesters say that RCJ representatives are leading people away from the JC, making those remaining more vulnerable to police violence.

In this June 22nd Facebook livestream video from Kevin David Williams below, a conflict about an attempt to lead the crowd away from the JC led to an angry conflict and violence.

***

One month after the death of Floyd, along with actions in the streets, work also continues improve law and policies. In the current special session, six police oversight / reform bills were brought to the Oregon statehouse.

One, a bill to have the Oregon Department of Justice investigate police killings, has been scaled back to simply have a new committee formed.

Many police discipline decisions at the City level are overturned by arbitrators. Another State bill to improve that process is moving forward, but its final form seems less-than-ideal too.

Nationally, in the United States Senate, gridlock fails to move police oversight legislation:

Politico reports: “Amid national crisis on police brutality and racism, Congress flails”