Pearl Residents Organize Against Hotel Tower: Residents of the Pearl District neighborhood want to block construction of a 23-story building, expected to include 170 hotel rooms and 110 apartments at Northwest 12th Avenue and Flanders Street. Pearl residents have objected to tall buildings before ("Sky Wars," WW, Jan. 24, 2018), but this time their objection isn't just height. It would be the city's tallest residential tower with no parking. "The failure to provide any onsite parking, while eliminating the 39 public parking spaces presently occupying this site, will further add to the traffic congestion in the neighborhood and discourage visitors from coming to the restaurants and shops in the area," reads the press release by the Pearl Neighbors for Integrity in Design. "This is a precedent-setting development, and not in a good way," adds Patricia Cliff, president of the organization, formed in 2018.
Antifascists Demand Police Retraction: PopMob is not enjoying its 15 minutes of milkshake fame. The antifascist organizers known as Popular Mobilization, or Pop Mob, sent a letter July 15 demanding the Portland Police Bureau retract and correct a tweet on June 29 that suggested protesters mixed quick-drying cement into vegan milkshakes. "The city's irresponsible statement has resulted in many death threats and other violent communications being directed at PopMob organizers," says the letter, first reported by The Portland Mercury. The only evidence Portland police had of the concrete milkshakes before sending the tweet was social media rumors and observations by Lt. Rick Stainbrook, who told other officers he saw a powdery substance on a milkshake cup and thought the frozen concoction smelled like cement. PopMob says its organizers used cashew milk, coconut ice cream and rainbow sprinkles to make the milkshakes. The Police Bureau did not respond to a request for comment on the antifascists' demand.
Mayor Pete Makes Waves in Portland: The latest Democratic presidential hopeful stopping in Portland? Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., and one of the first openly gay candidates for president. He's appearing at a July 23 fundraiser at the home of real estate developer and longtime Portland Police Reserve Cmdr. Robert Ball. (Other sponsors of the fundraiser include former Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, developer Brian Wannamaker, political consultant Paige Richardson, and freelance writer and former WW columnist Byron Beck.) One prominent Democratic donor less likely to attend? Portland publisher Win McCormack, who apologized to Buttigieg on July 13 for an essay briefly published on the website of The New Republic, which McCormack bought in 2016. The essay derided Buttigieg as pandering to straight people and speculated on his sex life. "We have high standards at The New Republic, but sometimes we fall short," McCormack wrote. "Yesterday we made a mistake."
From the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: WW Arts and Culture Editor Matthew Singer took home first place in the Arts Writing category at the 2019 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Awards. Singer won for "Roll of a Lifetime," his July 2018 cover story on Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, director Gus Van Sant's biopic about controversial cartoonist John Callahan, whose work was published in WW for 30 years. In addition, Music and Visual Arts Editor Shannon Gormley finished second in the Arts Criticism category. She placed first in the same category in 2018.