STATION IDENTIFICATION: Portland may be getting a new citywide FM radio station this summer. In fact, it may be getting two. Both Wild Planet Radio (LGBTQ community radio) and Portland Radio Project (noncommercial news and music) plan to broadcast from 99.1 FM over a radio tower leased from Benson Polytechnic High School. The Federal Communications Commission approved the stationsâ applications this month after a Texas-based âeducational broadcasterâ bowed out of its claim on the bandwidth in January. WPR has the slot from 3 pm to 3 am, while PRP has it from 3 am to 3 pm. âTheyâll be more journalism, weâll be more community-based,â says WPRâs Thomas Elisondo. Both currently operate as Web radio stations, but they applied for a low-power license when the FCC briefly opened the window for small nonprofit broadcasters. The 100-watt signal should cover central Portland, say station directors.
NEW BROTHER: Widmer Brothersâ North Portland pub will be closed March 24 through 27 for a massive remodel. âWe havenât touched much beyond minor cosmetic upgrades since 1995,â says Widmerâs Brady Walen. âThe bar is coming out; we are building an entirely new bar. That bar will allow us to pour 24 beers on tap as opposed to 15.â Widmerâs new âheritage meets modernâ look will find the room newly boothless, with banquette seating along the west wall and an 18-seat community table separating the bar from the dining room. The result, Walen says, will recall Higgins, Irving Street Kitchen, Baileyâs Taproom, and the Woodsman. >> In other booze news, the Bike Commuter at 8301 SE 13th Ave. in Sellwood would like to join Northeast Portlandâs Velo Cult in the business of selling both bikes and beer, and is applying for a tavern license to add 10 beer taps. âWeâre not changing into a bar,â says co-owner Eric Deady. âBut it should be a comfortable environment to hang out in and have a beer.â >> In a sign of the times, the closed Beaverton Fuddruckers at 15151 SW Barrows Road looks to turn into a La Provence restaurant, sister to the Petite Provence chain.
RUHL RULES: Profile Theatre, which devotes its entire season to a single playwright, has announced that 2015 will feature Sarah Ruhl, atwo-time Pulitzer nominee and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Ruhl has one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American theater, and her fabulist plays have touched on everything from vibrators to joke-cracking housekeepers to women who turn into almonds. >> In other season-announcement news, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has unveiled its 2015 season. Especially notable is Sweat, a world premiere from Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage thatâs set in a steel town at the end of the 20th century. There are two other world premieres on the schedule: an adaptation of Sarah Watersâ 2002 Victorian crime novel, Fingersmith, and the musical Head Over Heels, which draws on songs by the Go-Goâs.