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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Youth Conservation Corps shares successes with Council

Members of the newly-launched Youth Conservation Corps presented photos and memories of their experience this past summer with Council on Wednesday afternoon

 October 8, 2009

Launched this summer, the Youth Conservation Corps provided over 60 Portland-area teens summer jobs protecting and enhancing natural resources, trails, and the urban forest in and around Portland.

The Corps was managed by the Parks Bureau and led by Program Coordinator Greg Hawley, Crew Leader Sid Tyler, and City Nature West Manager Astrid Dragoy.

Crew members EJ Cordero and Leigh Quenton presented an overview of their experience with the Corps to Council on Wednesday afternoon, sharing before and after photos of ivy removal areas, memories of their experiences, and appreciation for the program.

Left to right: Coordinator Greg Hawley, Rob Ingram, Commissioner Saltzman, EJ Cordero, Leigh Quenton, Commissioner Fish, and Astrid Dragoy 

Public-private partnership brings Director Park to life

Jim Redden explores Director Park, the first downtown Portland park to open since 2005, in the October 8 Tribune

October 8, 2009

In 1997, local developer Tom Moyer purchased a block of property at Southwest Park and Taylor, intending to build a below-ground parking structure and donate the surface to to the City for a park.

Plans were finalized in Winter 2008 following extensive community input, and the park will open this Fall.

Almost one-third of the project's nearly $10 million total budget is private donations from Moyer and Portlander Jordan Schnitzer - this estimate doesn't include the land donated by Moyer, which is valued at $5 million.

The park also includes a central fountain. When the project budget couldn't cover construction of the fountain, Schnitzer donated almost $400,000 and asked the City to name the fountain to honor Portland's teachers. The result - Teachers Fountain - is a major feature of the park.

Chet Orloff, chair of the park's citizens advisory committee, told Jim Redden in the October 8 Tribune, "this is a really classic example of the kind of public-private partnerships we boast about here in Portland."

Housing Bureau marks Lead Prevention Month with $4 million grant to protect low-income households

October 9, 2009

The Portland Housing Bureau has received a three year, $4 million Lead Hazard Control grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Additionally, the Portland Water Bureau will contribute $1.4 million over the life of the grant.

This funding will support resources to address lead hazards in 425 Portland-area low-income households, to provide outreach to 4,500 homes, and to test the blood-lead levels of 2,500 children, reports the Portland Business Journal.

More than one in a hundred Oregon children have blood-lead levels at or above the lead poisoning level. "With this assistance," says Commissioner Fish, "we will identify kids at risk of lead poisoning and protect them."

This grant is especially important to the Portland area, where almost 90% of housing was built before lead paint was discontinued.

Over the last 10 years, the City has received $13 million in HUD Lead Hazard Control grant funding, providing services to nearly 1,200 homes with young children.

Mercy Corps opens new global headquarters in downtown Portland

On Friday, October 9, Mercy Corps celebrated the opening of its new global headquarters in Portland's Old Town Chinatown neighborhood

October 9, 2009


Mercy Corps, which has called Portland home for three decades, opened the doors of its new global headquarters this morning in downtown's Old Town Chinatown neighborhood. 

The building will house the Mercy Corps Action Center, Mercy Corps Northwest, The Lemelson Foundation, and Mercy Corps Global Headquarters. Nick was inspired by Congressman Earl Blumenauer's remarks at the celebration. The Skidmore Fountain represents our past, he said; Mercy Corps, our future.

Thanks to the Oregon Historical Society of the photo of the Skidmore Fountain, circa 1890!


Season of Service celebrates one successful year, prepares for another

Portland prepares for the 2010 Season of Service

October 12, 2009

In late February of this year, the Luis Palau Association presented the City of Portland with a check to fund the Home Again Mentoring Program, helping homeless families transition into stable housing, and the Portland Schools Transition Center, working with young people to resume their education. The donation was part of the 2009 Season of Service, which was named America's "Best Service Project" by Reader's Digest.

The 2009 Season of Service, Portland's second, generated over 100,000 community service hours from more than 27,000 volunteers, surpassing the Palau Association's goal of 15,000 volunteers. Nearly 300 projects were completed, twice the Association's goal for the year.

On October 1st, Nick attended a gathering of more than 150 leaders from the faith community, along with Mayor Adams and Mayor Doyle of Beaverton. The group reflected on the past five months of Season of Service projects and talk about how best to address the needs of our communities in 2010. The October meeting was one of two yearly gatherings of area pastors focusing on the Season of Service.

Next year's Season of Service will begin in the Spring and last throughout the Summer, with opportunities for anyone with time to give to make a difference in our communities.