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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

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

Schoolhouse Supplies Celebrity Spelling Bee

February 5, 2010

Nick is excited to be a contestant in tonight's 10th Annual Wells Fargo Celebrity Spelling Bee, presented by Comcast, held in the Grand Ballroom of the Portland Art Museum. Emcee John Erickson, from K103fm, will lead judges Susan Castillo, Superintendent of Oregon Public Schools, and Donna DuBois, 2009-2010 Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Contestants joining Nick include China Forbes of Pink Martini, Storm Large, Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread, Oregonian columnist Margie Boule, former Blazer Antonio Harvey, and National Scrabble Champion Dave Wiegand. The event will be moderated by Mary McDonald-Lewis, the voice of OnStar.

The silent auction, dinner, spelling bee, and reception will benefit Schoolhouse Supplies, which has distributed more than $11 million in free school supplies to local classrooms in the last 10 years. Founded in 1999, Schoolhouse Supplies is Oregon's first and only volunteer-run Free Store, providing teachers with the classroom supplies they need.

Nick partnered with the local non-profit last summer for ReUse Week 2009, a City-County effort to highlight reuse organizations around Portland - and a friendly competition to see whether City or County staff would donate the most supplies. We're not saying who won!

UPDATE: Nick had a lot of fun at the spelling bee. He survived the first few rounds but eventually stumbled on umlaut. The event raised over $185,000 for Schoolhouse Supplies - congratulations on a great event, and congratulations to winner Pat Janowski of Live Wire! Radio!

PHB releases annual 30% set aside report

February 8, 2010

Last week, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) released the annual Tax Increment Financing Affordable Housing Set Aside Annual Report. The report "provides an annual update of accomplishments and challenges under the set aside during FY 2008-09 and highlights the City and PDC's cumulative efforts for the first three years of the set aside program."

In 2006, City Council and the Portland Development Commission (PDC) created the "TIF Set Aside," which dedicates a minimum of 30% of tax increment financing (TIF) in urban renewal areas to develop, preserve and rehabilitate affordable housing for Portland individuals and families.

In the first three years of the TIF program, $67 million was spent on new affordable housing in Portland's urban renewal areas, in addition to the $178 million in other TIF funding invested in those urban renewal areas.

TIF funding contributed to a large number of affordable housing developments, including Pardee Commons, Rivergate Commons, Lents Landing, University Place, in 2008/09.

Touring Collins Sanctuary

February 8, 2010

This past Saturday morning, Nick toured Collins Sanctuary, recently purchased by Metro, in Forest Park.

The Collins Sanctuary, over 80 acres of natural space, was donated to the Oregon Parks Foundation (OPF) by the Collins Family Foundation in 1976. Metro purchased the land from OPF in 2008 and began the intensive work to remove invasive species and restore the Sanctuary's native plants.

Also touring the site were Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder and Metro President David Bragdon.

Metro is partnering with Friends of Trees to fully restore the Sanctuary.

Roselyn residents welcomed home

February 11, 2010

Nick with Lieutenant Allen Oswalt and Sean Cusack,  who was instrumental in helping residents escape the blaze

In late July of last year, residents of the Roselyn Apartments, on NW 21st, were forced to relocate after a fire damaged their building.

Last night, Nick was honored to join Portland firefighters who responded to the fire, Trader Joe's employee Sean Cusack, who helped many residents to safety, and others to welcome residents of the Roselyn back home. Also speaking at the event was Victor Merced, Director of Oregon Health and Community Services.

The Roselyn is one of the projects in Nick's 11 x 13 preservation strategy, which targets affordable housing development at risk of losing their affordability. Together with Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA), PHB was able to renew the federal rent subsidies that keep rents affordable at the Roselyn, which has critical access to the downtown, transit, and services.

Congratulations to Martha McLennan, Executive Director, and her staff at NHA on this successful preservation project, and to residents of the Roselyn - welcome home!