🌱 Housing Program Lags + Competition For New Congressional Seat

Happy Thursday, my friends! Or, as I like to call it, the start of my weekend. But before I start the party, let me tell you about today.

First, today's weather:

We start off with showers this morning, but that's going to clear up as we start a few days without rain. The high temp will be 54.

Here are the top five stories today in Portland:

  1. Portland-area public housing authority Home Forward continues to lag badly behind other West Coast cities when it comes to deploying the federal emergency housing vouchers Congress issued in May to pay rent for people who were homeless or on the verge becoming so. A database maintained by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that as of Jan. 16, Home Forward had issued just 17 vouchers— the first step in getting a person or family housed — and secured just five leases. (Willamette Week)

  2. Washington and Oregon are ranked in the top 9 of states for having the best traffic safety laws according to an annual study by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Despite this good news, traffic accidents and deaths are up around the country, according to the same report. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) spokesperson, David House, said this has been a trend since the pandemic started. (KPTV)

  3. A Proud Boy member in Portland has been arrested and faces felony charges in connection with an August 22 right-wing demonstration that turned into a violent brawl in Northeast Portland. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the indictment of Tusitala “Tiny” Toese on felony assault to KOIN 6 News Wednesday morning, although it has yet to be made public. (KOIN)

  4. Life-saving clinics that provide dialysis treatments are struggling during the pandemic. Low staffing is impacting appointments for patients who need regular treatment. "There's not an option to not receive a dialysis treatment," said Kathleen Belmonte, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of clinical services on the national level for Fresenius. She said the pandemic and resulting burnout for staff are taking a huge toll. (KGW)

  5. Oregon gained a sixth congressional seat as a result of the 2020 Census and there are several contenders vying for it. The latest one? Steven Cody Reynolds. He announced last week that he’d loaned his campaign $2 million. It showed up in December, according to his filings with the Federal Election Commission, but hasn’t been previously reported. (He also reported spending $42,000 so far, nearly all of it on billboards.) (Willamette Week)

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Today in Portland:

  • Join Take PART (Portland Anti-Racism Team) for an online presentation by Toby Asai Loftus, who will discuss his own Hood River-based family's stories of survival during the WWII-era mass incarceration of Japanese Americans. Toby’s talk will cover the arrival of his grandparents in the United States; the anti-Asian laws and racism prior to WWII; Executive Order 9066, which mandated the incarceration of Japanese Americans; his uncles’ service in the U.S. armed forces; and the racism his family faced upon their return home. 7:00 PM.

  • If you're in the mood for some politically charged folk music, you'll want to head over to Kelly's Olympian in downtown Portland to see Scott Mickelson. Also performing will be Adam Sweeney (of The Breaking) and Karyn Ann. Tickets available online. Showtime is 9:00 PM.

  • Powell's Books presents Nnedi Okorafor, author of the book Akata Woman, in an online conversation with Wanuri Kahiu. Akata Woman is the electrifying third book in the series that started with Akata Witch — named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time” and “100 Best YA Books of All Time.” Register online. 5:00 PM.

  • The Miguel Hernandez Quartet will be playing at Steeplejack Brewing in NE Portland. "The Upstate New York-based guitarist brings his soulful hip-hop and jazz out West, with bassist Patrick Golichnick, trumpet player Chang Park, and drummer Lee Hauser rounding out his backing band." 7:00 - 9:00 PM.

  • Local band Deaf Telepathy will be playing at the Star Theater in downtown Portland tonight. Deaf Telepathy is a modern rock quartet formed in Portland, OR motivated to create a sound representative of the PNW: energetic, dynamic, vicious, and introspective. Get your tickets online. Doors open at 7:00 PM.

From my notebook:

  • Way up in North Portland, not far from the Jubitz Truck Stop, sits a new Portland neighborhood whose homes you won’t find on any map. About 30 people call this swath of city-owned Delta Park home. Some sleep in tents, but most reside in vehicles ranging from subcompact cars to full-size RVs. This encampment is illegal, but city officials look the other way. (Willamette Week)

  • Ken Forkish may be one of the best known bakers in Oregon. He wrote a James Beard award-winning book on the fundamentals of bread. As the mastermind behind Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Trifecta, Checkerboard Pizza, and Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Forkish helped solidify Portland as an epicenter for food. Twenty years later Forkish is hanging up his apron — at least professionally — and retiring after two decades as a restaurateur. He sat down with OPB’s Crystal Ligori to discuss his legacy and what comes next. (OPB)

  • Meet some of the canine competitors vying to be Portland’s top dog! The Rose City Classic Dog Show started Wednesday at the Portland Expo Center and will run through Sunday — featuring dozens of different dog breeds. Kohr Harlan shares how the pups and their parents are preparing for the spotlight. (KOIN)

  • Chinese Friendship Association of Portland (CFAP) is a non-profit organization, serving the local community. CFAP organizes multiple education and culture-focused events all year long, with its most popular event being the annual Lunar New Year (LNY) Celebration Gala. This year will be the second time that the LNY celebration is held in Keller Auditorium. It will be the first time that multiple Asian communities and other communities come together to celebrate LNY. (Portland'5)

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That's your day, Portland. And a fine day it is. I hope you find your day to just as great. Meet me back tomorrow and we'll have another chat about this city we call home. Now, I might step out and see a dog show.

Dominic Anaya

About me: Doctor, educator and now a writer/artist, I'm just chillin' in Portland, OR with my wife, our ferrets, our chickens and our goats.

This article originally appeared on the Portland Patch