ORE.GANIC: Eat this, White House: Portland’s planning its own political victory garden. Local urban farm consultants Portland Organoponico Project (a.k.a. POP Farming) will tear up a 700-square-foot patch of City Hall’s east lawn from 9 am to 2 pm Friday, May 1, and seed the space with partial-sun lovin’ crops from beets and carrots to leafy greens and herbs. “I invite [the public] to witness the beauty that is another lawn destroyed and replaced with vegetables,” POP founder Dan Bravin wrote Scoop. What’s a foolproof crop for first time farmers? “Radishes,” Bravin suggests. “All you need is some loose soil and lots of water. They’re tough little buggers. They’re great right out of the ground with a little salt.” All the veggies the City Hall patch yields will go to Oregon hunger-fighting charities.
EAT ART: We expect Portland Institute for Contemporary Art to blend dance, theater and visual arts at the Time-Based Art Festival, but this year PICA surprises us with a new element: food. On Labor Day, the art snobs will team up with the food snobs—in this case, members of Slow Food Portland, the local branch of the Italian organization dedicated to fighting fast food and preserving regional food traditions and biodiversity—to present a free “eat-in picnic” open to the public.
NEWMAN’S OWN SCANDAL: When Oregonian movie critic Shawn Levy was writing his biography of Paul Newman, he knew the blue-eyed star had a longstanding feud with the New York Post. Levy’s Paul Newman: A Life won’t be released until May 5, but it’s already landed him on Page Six as the fuel for a final, posthumous imbroglio, as the Post described the book as portraying Newman as “a hot-headed drunk and womanizer.” Levy bemoaned to WW the intrusion of tabloid scandalmongers on a bio he spent five years researching—“It’s like someone came and farted in my hyperbaric chamber! There’s a dark Paul Newman in this book, but he’s not Jack the Lad”—then defended his work on a Wednesday guest spot on TV’s Inside Edition.
SAGA CITY SHAKEUP: Portland Monthlymagazine’s got a new boss—sister publication Portland Spaces editor Randy Gragg. But Gragg confirmed to WW he’s not quitting Spaces; he’s adding PM on top of his current duties at the PDX-based media company. “It was sudden,” Gragg admitted Monday. Local gadfly Byron Beck broke the news on his blog that former editor-in-chief Paige Williams had been ousted Monday morning, noting that the gossip was that she had been let go after “publisher Nicole Vogel and Williams had a very heated ‘discussion’ within earshot of several people on Friday.” Gragg refused to comment on the rumored dust-up, but did say that Williams was not a “good fit” for the position, which she’d held for less than a year. He insists that consolidating the two editorial jobs was not a financial decision in response to the dwindling ad sales Portland Monthly has faced in the past months.