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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

Nationals Arts in Education Week

September 16, 2015

September 13 – 19 is National Arts in Education Week!

National Arts in Education Week is an annual celebration for arts education. It was established by Congress to help support equitable access to art for all students.

Art is a crucial part of early and long-term education. People of all ages, from preschoolers to college grads, benefit from creative, innovative, and artistic thinking. Arts education has been proven to help produce more engaged and successful students.

Thanks to Portland’s voter-approved Arts Education & Access Fund, all K-5 students in our public schools now have access to arts, dance, or music classes!

Also, the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Right Brain Initiative has expanded to nearly 60 schools across our community – that’s 20,000 local students in a single school year!

Right Brain engages young minds by integrating art in school curriculums. It encourages student creativity, and has had a very positive effect on students’ abilities in other school subjects. Right Brain schools see students averaging 6 points higher in reading scores and 9 points higher in math scores than before working with the program.

Learn all about RACC’s educational programs on their website.

The Water Bureau's first female chief engineer

September 17, 2015

Teresa Elliott is the Portland Water Bureau's new chief engineer!

Teresa has been with the Water Bureau since 1996 as a civil engineer. Since then, she has broken glass ceilings, becoming the bureau’s first female principal engineer, and now, the first female chief engineer.

One of Teresa's priorities is preparing our water infrastructure for a large earthquake. In 2005, she and other Water Bureau staff traveled to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and helped restore the their water system.

Her hard work in New Orleans was great training for emergency preparedness in Portland. There are 2,800 miles of water pipes throughout the city, and she helps ensure that our pipes are ready for a natural disaster.

Congratulations, Teresa! Thanks for your outstanding service!

Portland Water Bureau names first female chief engineer

Beverly Corbell in the Daily Commerce Journal

Photo courtesy of Sam Tenney, Daily Journal of Commerce

The Weekly Catch

Portland Water Bureau names first female chief engineer

Beverly Corbell in the Daily Journal Commerce


3 Ideas From City Leader On Easing Portland's Makers' Space Crisis

April Baer in OPB


Interview with PDX City Commissioner, Nick Fish

Jefferson Smith in


Portland rentals: ‘Greed overcoming neighborhoods’

Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News Staff


Evicted: Towne Storage Building Tenants Are Getting The Boot Under New Ownership

Shelby R. King in the Portland Mercury


More Details Emerge on Portland’s Bike Rental program

Kristian Foden-Vencil in OPB


48 hours at the Pendleton Round-Up

September 21, 2015 

When Martha Pellegrino, the City of Portland’s Director of Government Relations, invited me to represent the City at the Pendleton Round-Up, I jumped at the chance.

But first, she told me I would need to invest in western wear.

So naturally I headed to the Outdoor Store, and asked my friend Larry Allen to outfit me. He sold me a straw hat, a pair of boots, three Pendleton shirts, and a belt.

Now, I was ready for the Round-Up.

The world famous Pendleton Round-Up is held the second week of every September. It is 105 years old and draws 50,000 visitors to this Eastern Oregon city of about 16,000. The rodeo is affiliated with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and is a qualifier for the finals held in Las Vegas.

I arrived in Pendleton on Thursday after a spectacular drive through the Columbia River Gorge.

Click here to read more about Nick's trip to the Round-Up!

Getting ready for the “Big One”

September 22, 2015

Making sure our drinking water system is ready for the “Big One” is a top priority for the Portland Water Bureau.

Later this year, the bureau will seek Council approval to move forward with two big projects to protect our drinking water from the damage of a major earthquake: the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project and the Willamette River Crossing.

Both projects are critical to ensuring that our Bull Run water can travel to Portland’s west side, which includes all of downtown. The Willamette River Crossing project will install a new, seismically resilient pipe under the riverbed, and a new underground reservoir at Washington Park will be able to safely store that water.

This morning, the Water Bureau shared important project updates at a City Council work session, including current designs, cost estimates, and timelines.

We recently learned that the Washington Park site is much more complex than engineers 100 years ago realized. Constructing a new, seismically resilient reservoir is challenging and requires essentially building a second structure—or fortress--around the reservoir itself, protecting it from both landslides and earthquakes.

Staff outlined some creative engineering methods to address these seismic and landslide challenges, including a “shoring” wall that will let the reservoir be flexible and move if the ground is shaking.

These proposed investments will strengthen the City’s seismic resilience, and ensure the Water Bureau can continue to deliver high-quality, safe, and reliable drinking water at all times – even after the “Big One.”

Seismic Resilience Projects Update

Portland Water Bureau

Portland's Washington Park reservoir project could cost $170 million

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian