| ETTINGER WITH METROFIETS BEER BIKE. |
- CARGO STARS: Portland’s high-end cargo bike operation, Metrofiets, is getting some major media love. First, a crew from the Discovery Channel’s tech-culture show Daily Planet flew in last Thursday to shoot Metrofiets co-owners Phillip Ross and Jamie Nichols and a bunch of friends guzzling pints at Hopworks for a story on the company’s keg-carting “beer bike.” The pair dreamed up the $10,000-plus two-wheeled behemoth, which features two beer taps, a pizza box and a full stereo, for Hopworks brewer Christian Ettinger. Then, on Monday, Metrofiets’ Ross was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition along with fellow local utility bike maker Clever Cycles for an urban transport story. “It’s been a hell of a week,” Ross says, excitedly. “We’re just gonna have to keep our heads down now and keep building bikes.”
- DECLAWED: Despite releasing a well-received new record, Entropy, in September, the piano-loving dance duo behind Panther is officially calling it quits. Beginning as a solo vehicle for former The Planet The frontman Charlie Salas-Humara and later morphing into a two-piece with the addition of drummer Joe Kelly in 2008, Panther has a sound that’s shifted over the years, but both members have decided to move on after one final show on Dec. 20 at Rontoms. According to a MySpace post, Charlie is “going to pull a GG [Allin]” and Joe is “going to make it like the prom scene in Carrie. ” Hopefully no fire hoses will be involved in the last show.
- FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT: Red & Black Cafe founder Bill Bradley’s 10-month-old Alive Mixed Martial Arts gym (alivemma.com) in Southeast Portland provides self-defense—against the recession. Alive, which specializes in wrestling, judo, jujitsu and boxing taught by well-known local fighters, offers a “union-wage work trade,” where out-of-work members can pay part or all of their $100 monthly dues by contributing anything from food to carpentry skills. The result? Bradley says membership is growing (WW cover story subject and MMA fighter Jody De Simone already calls the gym home). Though he refers to the model as “venture communism,” Bradley says his Republican gym members find no problem with it. “Maybe it’s a sign of the times,” says senior instructor and welterweight MMA champion Chris Standing. “It’s harder to feed people now, so it’s not communism so much as people helping each other.” Bradley’s favorite trade? “We have a member who makes sushi for people,” he says.
- DEPT. OF SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: Thanks, Portland! Since Wednesday, Nov. 18, you’ve given nearly $233,000 to the 79 awesome local nonprofits featured in WW’s Give!Guide 2009. Find a nonprofit that you want to help out this holiday season at giveguide.oaktree.com.