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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

Madrona Studios opens in Rose Quarter

March 10, 2010

With community leader Pauline Bradford and Volunteers of America-Oregon President and CEO Kay Toran

This afternoon, Nick joined Central City Concern (CCC) Executive Director Ed Blackburn, Portland Housing Bureau Director Margaret Van Vliet, PDC Executive Director Bruce Warner, Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) Director Victor Merced, Volunteers of America Oregon President Kay Toran, and US Bank's David Wynde to celebrate the opening of the Madrona Studios. In the February 26 Oregonian, Anna Griffin calls Madrona Studios the "first, unlikeliest and most worthwhile part" if the Rose Quarter's rebirth, boasting 176 units of "cleaner, prettier, greener" apartments for folks at the lowest end of the income spectrum.

Central City Concern bought the property - the site of the old Ramada Inn - five years ago,coinciding with the launch of the City/County 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. Five years later, we celebrate the opening of the Madrona, which will serve low-income Portlanders with 176 units of affordable housing.

The City is fortunate to have a partner like CCC to help shape our central city landscape through the acquisition and rehab of historic buildings like th Golden West and the development of new buildings like the Richard Harris. They help ensure that there is a place for everyone in our city's core.

A number of non-profit partners worked to make this project happen: Cascade AIDS Project, JOIN, Outside In, Volunteers of America, and NW Pilot Project. Wells Fargo, US Bank, OHCS, and PDC worked to help finance the project.

  With PHB Director Margaret Van Vliet and HAP Executive Director Steve Rudman

Urban Forestry Commission presents Annual Report to Council

March 10, 2010

At a time when many American cities are experiencing dramatic decreases in urban canopy cover, Portland's urban forest is increasing. An important part of this success is the diligence and activism of Portland's Urban Forestry Commission, an advisory group supporting the City Forester, Parks Director Zari Santner, and Commissioner Fish on tree-related issues.

This morning, the UFC presented its 2009 Annual Report to the City Council. Thanks to Brian Krieg, Chair of the UFC, and Professor Joe Porascky, UFC Commissioner, for a great presentation.

The UFC focused in 2009 on assisting the multi-bureau effort to revise, review, and update Portland's tree codes. The volunteer hours put in by UFC members on this project was extraordinary; over 1,500 hours - more than 100 per member - last year.

It was a year of successes for the UFC: the Heritage Trees committee selected 12 trees for addition to the City's collection, and the School Arboreta program (Learning Landscapes) continued to expand, partnering with dozens of students from a handful of schools to plant trees on or near their schools.

Looking ahead, the UFC encourages a shift toward long-term vision, stewardship, and commitment to our urban forest. In 2010, the UFC hopes to see the completion of the Citywide Tree Project - 'a comprehensive, consistent, and cohesive vision of the urban forest that is coupled with an organizational framework that will make it easier to make that vision a reality."

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce annual dinner

March 11, 2010
with APACC advisory board member Jaime Lim, publisher of The Asian Reporter newsweekly     

Wednesday evening, Nick attended APACC's quarterly event, joining more than 70 guests. As a guest speaker, he commented on the financial crisis and the many and varied ways it's affecting City services. He followed a presentation by Roy Kim, of Central Bethany Development Corp., who offered survival tips for small business owners trying to make it through a challenging economic landscape.

In Memoriam

March 11, 2010

Dear Friends,

This week we mourn the passing of Oregon State Treasurer Ben Westlund.

Ben was a wonderful person and public servant. I was honored to serve with him on the Board of the Oregon Cultural Trust. I am also personally grateful for his good work with the Oregon College Savings Plan.

He will be missed.


Commissioner Fish will attend the memorial service for Treasurer Westland in Salem this weekend.

Thanks very much to Just Out for this Fall 2008 photo of Ben Westlund!

Portland welcomes two new community gardens

March 12, 2010

With Director Santner at Vestal Elementary

Across Portland, folks are braving the rain to launch two new community gardens today. This morning Nick celebrated the opening of Portland's 33rd community gardenat Vestal Elementary, in Northeast Portland. Also on hand were Vestal Principal Susan Foxman, Parks Director Zari Santner, a number of Vestal students, and Portland community garden pioneer Leslie Pohl-Kosbau.

Director Santner acknowledged the many community partners whose hard work brought this garden to life, including Don Huld, of PPS; Vestal teacher Chad Honl; Lora Price of Friends of Portland Community Gardens; the Vision Into Action program and AmeriCops volunteer Laura Benjamin; and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association.

This new community garden is Portland's 33rd. Vestal's garden will provide a space for Montavilla neighbors to come together - seniors, families, college students, young kids - in a uniquely personal way.

Vestal joins the many thousands of community gardens nationwide, part of a coast-to-coast movement to reconnect with our food and our communities. The Portland Community Garden program has been a part of the Parks bureau for over 30 years.

As Commissioner-in-Charge of the Parks Bureau, the Community Gardens program is a top priority for Nick. Last Fall, together with Parks, he launched an Oregon Solutions project to figure out how to meet the growing demand for healthy, locally grown food in our community.

Later this afternoon, Madison High School will debut Portland's 34th community garden. Madison Principal Carla Randall and Portland School Board member Ruth Adkins will be on hand to celebrate the opening with Madison students. The plot will serve as both a community garden and an education garden for the school.

Our Climate Action Plansets the goal of 1,000 new plots in Portland by 2010 - together, these two new gardens bring us that much closer to our goal! If you'd like to be a part of the community garden movement in Portland, check out Parks' recently released Community Gardens Toolkit, a resource guide offering everything from how to sign up for a plot in a community garden to tips for growing produce at home to ways to donate food to those in need in our community.

Volunteers are always welcome at Portland Parks & Recreation's Community Garden work parties. Click here for more.

Finally, congratulations to the students of Vestal Elementary, who were sworn in as honorary park rangers this morning by Nick!

Swearing in honorary park rangers at Vestal Elementary