RADIO HIMALAYAS: From high dive to high frequency? Portlander Tom Haig was a former circus performer and extreme athlete who traveled the globe jumping off tall things until a 1996 bike accident left him in a wheelchair with a broken back. Despite the trauma, Haig never stopped traveling. Most recently he’s wheeled to the Himalayas, where he’s taken up post in Dharamsala, India, as the program director for a radio station based out of the local high school where he also teaches the Tibetan high-schoolers broadcast news. “We play Tibetan music and little info blasts about the Dalai Lama,” Haig says. “This station is one of only six in the country to get a license to broadcast community-related subjects.” Right now, the school’s Web connection is too weak to stream over here in PDX. Instead, read Haig’s blog about his adventures abroad at captaincrip.blogspot.com.
LIGHT MY FIRE: Look out, Burning Man—local artists and teachers are hoping to make Portland host to Fuel: PDX on Fire, the three-day mother of all fire-arts festivals set to take over Portland International Raceway Sept. 24 through 26. With a focus on “edutainment,” Fuel will feature family friendly fare in the daytime and flaming over-21 fun once the sun goes down.
DOUBLE FRIED: What’s better than Portland’s excellent fries cart Potato Champion? Spudnik, Champion’s mobile fry cart that will soon putter around to local events. “ Spudnik [will] serve the same stuff as our mama cart,” explains Champion employee Kourtney Paranteau. “We’re going to be doing Last Thursdays, music festivals, weddings....” Scoop hears it may lift off near the end of January. Plus, Paranteau says they’re working on making Spudnik a mobile DJ booth, too. Visit potatochampion.com for more info.
BOHEMIA LIVES: There may be life in the long-underutilized Bossanova Ballroom yet. The inner-east Burnside building—formerly home to the Viscount Ballroom, metal and country-themed Outlaws Bar Grill and, in 2009, the Wanderlust Circus’ White Album Christmas shows and not much else—has been “restored to its sparkling glory,” according to a recent email. The architecturally sweet mid-to-large-sized venue, owned by Philip Ragaway (who also owns The Tanker, Tiny’s Coffee and other local bars), was once a regular home for touring bands, but slid out of the spotlight over the past five years. An invite-only relaunch of “Bossanova Ballroom 3.0” is slated for this Friday. Judging from early bookings, the space will have something of an upscale clown house/keep-Portland-weird vibe. Aside from a Solovox performance, all the relaunch acts are carnivalesque, including more Wanderlust fare. A monthly burlesque night, the Royal Tease, debuts Jan. 23. Thank God: The last thing Portland needs is another indie-rock club.
TOP CHEF: Chef Cory Schreiber’s on the move again. After two years as the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s farm-to-school program manager, the former owner of Wildwood is going back to school. He’s taken a position as the full-time “culinary artist-in-residence” at International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland—which pretty much means he’ll help dream up new courses and workshops and teach culinary management courses. Which kinda blows that whole “those who can’t, teach” idea out of the water.