Taming the Beast
Can Mayor Sam Adams put a leash on Last Thursday? by Alex Zielinski WITH PORTLAND'S SEASON of outdoor festivals about to dawn, Mayor Sam Adams' office is taking serious steps toward taming one of the city's most notorious: Last Thursday. The monthly arts gathering, which takes over a chunk of NE Alberta with vendor booths, entertainment, and general gaiety, has had a long, rocky history with neighbors and city officials. But according to organizers and recordings of semi-private "stakeholder" meetings obtained by the Mercury, that sometimes-fractious relationship could be reaching a breaking point. Adams' office, looking to cut down on police costs and general chaos, is leading a heavy-handed push to permit the event and line up sponsors. But longtime Last Thursday leaders are convinced the city's changes will turn the freewheeling festival into a strict, corporate-sponsored affair that sells out the idea the event was founded on. "Sponsorships are a slippery slope," says Rochelle Saliba, a former member of the nonprofit that runs the event, Friends of Last Thursday (FOLT). "Last Thursday isn't Last Thursday if there's money involved. The mayor thinks he's saving it, but he's really killing it." Starting in January, Adams' staff began bringing FOLT and other community members to the mayor's warren of offices in city hall for a series of meetings on the future of the event. While the mayor's staffers say the get-togethers have been helpful—moving FOLT in the direction of a permit—recordings of those sessions obtained through a public records request reveal little agreement, and a lot of tension. In a meeting in March, Adams shot down Saliba's request to refuse sponsors. "I'm doing sponsorships and we are going to be fundraising on the streets. I can and I will," he said. "There is no other way to raise money. How much money do you have in the bank from last year? Zero." To this, Saliba retorts: "You can't decide, Sam." "I just did," Adams fired back. "If I have to be dictatorial about it, I will be. I am confident we'll be able to work through this. But it's time we all grow up." Saliba quit FOLT shortly after the meeting, irked by Adams' power play and the direction the talks were taking. For 15 years, Last Thursday has been an unpermitted version of an outdoor gallery walk, born in 1997, that soon grew into a monthly street party, leading to a landslide of neighbor complaints regarding noise, traffic, trash, and public urination. But for city officials, Last Thursday is just learning how to walk—two years ago, the mayor's office helped spark the creation of FOLT, in hopes that it could ultimately regulate and organize the untamed event. The city, however, still doesn't think FOLT is ready to take the reins—with Adams particularly frustrated over organizers' steadfast refusal to push for local sponsorships or do fundraising. Earlier this year, the Portland Bureau of Transportation refused to give FOLT a permit for closing NE Alberta. "This is a quintessential Portland event, important for local businesses and the community," Catherine Ciarlo, the mayor's transportation director, told the Mercury. "We don't want to change that. But it's crucial that the community meets its own goals first before Last Thursday gets a permit." Last year, the city spent $10,000 a month to close off NE Alberta and provide security—and Adams tried to make it clear that the city council wouldn't help out this year. FOLT is split on how to finance Last Thursday. Sponsorships could pay for portable toilets, trash dispensers, and other necessary items—but they also could corrupt the free nature of the event. Still, despite Adams' warnings, it seems the city will remain on the hook for security costs—at least this year. The first Last Thursday of 2012 is planned for Thursday, May 31, and officials say there are no plans to shut it down. Ciarlo now says the mayor's office is hoping Last Thursday will prove its stability this summer and then qualify for a permit by the end of the year. Taming Last Thursday, and avoiding confrontations between revelers and police, "is a PR dream for the mayor's office, and they know it," Saliba says. "Sam's a big supporter of the event, but he doesn't understand what it needs."
By Ned Lannamann It is what it is. And what it is is the brand new Mercury Music Hour. Isn't it? I suppose I could have worded that more clearly. The Mercury Music Hour is heard weekly at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. And if it isn't, it's heard right here. It is! LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 22 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 21 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Stop everything you are doing right now! And listen to the brand new Mercury Music Hour. Trust me, this is more important. We worked kinda hard on it... kinda. The Mercury Music Hour cand be heard weekly at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. And you can listen to this week's episode right here, right now. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 21 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download (the Long-Lost) Episode 20 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Hello, audiophiles and music collectors! We have a very special surprise for you this week: A long-unheard episode of the legendary Mercury Music Hour! Back in the day, the Mercury Music Hour could be heard weekly at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. Its seminal influence went on to change the face of both radio and Portland music forever. And now here's the legendary, long-lost Episode 20, which hasn't been heard since its original broadcast on... uh... the week of November 20-24, 2010. So, yeah... uh, I guess that was last week. I suppose it's not really long-lost. I usually post these things at the end of every week, though, and I forgot to do it this past Friday because of turkey and wine and general irresponsibility. So, there you go. A kind of long-lost episode, posted a couple days late for your listening pleasure. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 20 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Actually, I'll change my tune here and say it's long-lost because it contains a really noticeable technical error—the music mistakenly begins while we're still talking. Yay Garageband, and your blocks of audio that are easily and accidentally moveable! Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 19 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Hey gang. How's it going. Rainy, right. Yeah. We know. Well, maybe we can cheer you up. As you well know, you can listen to the Mercury Music Hour when it broadcasts every week at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. Oh. You missed this week's episode. Shoot. Well, that's okay. We have this week's episode for you here. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 19 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump, guys.
Download Episode 18 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann You can do it! You can listen to the Mercury Music Hour when it broadcasts every week at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. You can still do it! You can listen to this week's episode right now! Do it! LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 18 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 17 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann The Mercury Music Hour broadcasts every week at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. Did you miss this week's episode? Well, stop crying, you big baby. We've got you covered. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 16 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 16 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Boo! Did we scare you? It's a spooooky episode of the Mercury Music Hour! You can listen to the ghoulish show every week at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Booooo! (actually that's 94.7 Too), and streaming online at 947.fm. But now you can download this week's haunted episode, which is sure to strike terror in your heart. It's fright-tastic! Ugh. Sorry about that. Halloween season's almost over, folks. Don't worry, this episode isn't really even Halloween themed. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 16 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 15 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Well, another week has gone by, and that means another episode of the Mercury Music Hour. You can hear it every week when it broadcasts at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. But you can download this week's episode, too! Now that's a cause for celebration. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 15 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 14 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Hi! Didja know that the Mercury Music Hour broadcasts at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every single week on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm? You did? Well, did you know that you can download this week's episode and listen to it forever and ever? This could very well be the greatest single hour of your entire life. (No, it probably won't.) LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 14 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Take Your City and Shove It!
The Best Complaints to City Hall by Sarah Mirk If you have a complaint, Portland City Hall has a voicemail for you. Call 503-823-4740. It's the job of the public advocate in Mayor Sam Adams' office to field concerns from citizens—and she fields a lot. In fact, a transcription of the complaints left on her voicemail from the last nine months spans 176 pages, and we've picked out the best of the best complaints of the year for your reading enjoyment. Beware: many are depressing and crazy. (Surprised?) Portland as a city is all about promoting public input, but many of the comments directed to the mayor's office are, at best, aggressive and unhelpful and at worst, tirades about subjects the mayor has no control over. So go ahead, lodge a complaint. A volunteer will dutifully transcribe your voicemail and, if it's actually relevant to the mayor's office, send it on to a staffer. You may even get a response—but when you do, remember: It's not going to kill you to be nice. December 30, 2009, 11:21 am This here message is for Sam Adams, who thinks he's the leader of Portland. You're no leader. We have no leaders in Portland. I've been sitting in traffic in the same spot—the same half-mile of I-5—for three and a half hours, going on four hours, just inching my way along, because of icy roads. If you were any kind of a leader, this wouldn't be happening. Unfortunately, it's a city of thugs, like our president and the rest of the Democrats currently at the controls of this country that have driven it into the fucking ground! You asshole!! December 30, 2009, 12:10 pm You can't get this city to do anything except ruin itself. You know what? I have to tell you something. I know the camera puts on 10 pounds, but Sam, you need to know: You are getting fat—around the middle, where it's very dangerous for your heart. So, you are a fat failure. January 4, 2010, 11:36 am We own City Liquidators down here on the east end of the Morrison Bridge. I'm calling today about the homeless camps that surround our property. It's now gotten beyond control. It was two or three, three or four, and now there are 15. There's human feces everywhere. There's just poop, poop, poop. It smells like urine. We've tried to cut the smell with Pine-Sol, and that didn't work. We've tried being nice. This weekend they were in here in our building using our bathrooms and now both bathrooms are down. January 5, 2010, 1:21 pm I was raped by the drug taskforce—anally. I GOT RAN OVER BY TRIMET. It drove over the sidewalk and ran me over. I am CRIPPLED now! Are you FUCKING happy?! Your fuckin' Sam Adams—little faggot bastard—is a FAKE. And your goddamned election office is FAKE and shit! I am so pissed, I have no recourse except to OPEN FIRE!! January 13, 2010, 10:12 am Yeah: I think the overtime parking tickets downtown are outrageous. Since you have extended your parking meter hours—and on Sunday—I just made up my mind, I boycott downtown. There are plenty of other places to shop: out in the suburbs—out of the city limits of Portland, even. So, okay, thanks for nothing. Oh, by the way, Lars Larson, 750 KXL: He thinks so, too. So, digest that. February 3, 2010, 11:27 am Well, hello liar: This is your constituent. Say, Sam, I was reading that the states of Oregon and Washington have spent $72 million to figure out how to build a bridge—and you hayseeds can't even get that done. Friday, February 4, 2010, 10:12 am I would like to suggest to you that there are much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much more important things that need to be dealt with for our citizens in Portland than bicycle issues. Do not force this onto people. People who like to ride bicycles—that's wonderful. But, the majority of us do not plan to change. We do everything else: We change our light bulbs, we're vegetarians. You know, if you really want to push a political agenda, why don't you push vegetarianism? That is the biggest cause of pollution to the soil, and the air, and the water that there is. Thank you. Ciao. February 10, 2010, 4:19 pm Hey, we need a bus to drive the hungry out to the fields to work and eat their crops. Thank you. February 12, 2010, 8:25 am Mayor Adams: I want to say thank you to you and to the Portland Police Department for ridding Portland of yet another unarmed black man. I am very grateful to the service that the Portland Police Department is doing by one-by-one murdering these people and I'm even more grateful to Mr. Scott Westerman for explaining how it is their job and their duty to continue to murder these unarmed people. So, give the Portland Police Department a slap on the back, also, because, again, what you have done is murdered another innocent black man. Keep going and we will rid the city of those horrible innocent black people. Thank you. February 12, 2010, 8:40 am I don't think I need a call back because I don't think anything will ever be done—but I'm just sick and tired of turning on the news. The police are just so power hungry that that's all they do is shove people around. They're just running around shooting everybody—and unarmed people: kids, teenagers. Stupid! February 12, 2010, 1:16 pm Hi, Sammy: What is your problem? Are you crazy? Are you a nutcase? Come on, they've been trying to fix the sewage problems in Portland, Oregon, since the 1930s and collecting money. And it's little idiots like you that keep taking the money and spending it on other things. We don't need 700 miles of bike paths in the city! You know what? Not that many people ride bikes! Pull your head out, you nutcase! February 19, 2010, 8:15 am Good morning. I'm a career mental health nurse. I live in West Linn. I have followed all the deadly police shootings in Portland and have noticed that they are almost exclusively against people of color, people with mental disabilities. The police are out of control. The mayor is doing nothing to stop it and Rosie Sizer seems uninterested, unwilling, or unable to stop it. When you see me in the demonstrations, I'm a little gray-haired lady. March 24, 2010, 11:04 am Yes, I was calling in response to the mayor's decision to spend $20 million from the sewer fund for bicycle paths. As someone who lives down river from the City of Portland, I want to register a complaint that you guys are still dumping raw sewage into the river when it rains. What's more important: bicycle paths or doodie in the river? We've about had it down here with you guys telling us how to live and you doing these terrible, horrible things to our river. It's disgusting. Thank you. March 31, 2010, 3:40 pm I've invented a flower guardian to keep the squirrels from chewing up all the beautiful flowers. April 1, 2010, 2:58 pm I'm outraged about this incident that occurred the other day in downtown Portland by this small group of these whacko fruitcake anarchists and the kid-glove treatment that the City of Portland and the police seem to have when it comes to these nutjobs. And Sam Adams wonders why businesses are leaving Portland. And, so, yeah, screw it. Take your city and shove it, Sam! April 2, 2010, 10:40 am Yeah: Tell Mayor Sam Adams to watch his backside. Mike Tyson's fuckin' after him. April 7, 2010, 9:36 am Do yourself a favor, Sam Adams, and fire the internal police review, and internal affairs and Sizer, and Randy Whatever-His-Name-Is from city council. Keep Erik Sten, but get rid of fuckin' other guy, please, so we can get some justice; because if there ain't no justice for me, there ain't going to be any justice. April 12, 2010, 3:44 pm Hi. I'm calling to say, I am a citizen of Portland, and Rosie Sizer needs to be fired—IMMEDIATELY! And, the entire police department needs to be looked at. These people are going CRAZY! How STUPID are you people?? Apparently, pretty stupid. Rosie Sizer needs to be fired! FIRE Sizer! FIRE Sizer! FIRE Sizer! [Repeated 10 more times.] April 15, 2010, 2:08 pm Getting a paid vacation for beating somebody to a bloody pulp or killing someone in cold blood is ridiculous. And, as a voter, I'm not going to hold the police chief accountable; I'm going to hold Sam Adams accountable. You know, you can build all the bike lanes you want, but that's not really going to impress me—and I'm one of your hipsters here in Portland. May 10, 2010, 5:07 pm Hi, folks: I'm finding it a hard time accepting the idea that you want to waste so much of my tax dollars on garbage like babying bicyclists and making more and more little paths for them, but you're going to cut the police force and mounted patrol!? This is your ever-complaining Joanne. You do not need to call me back, because I know that you do not care. May 12, 2010, 9:25 am If you need to cut a cop, how about Rosie Sizer and the guy who killed James Chasse? Thanks. May 12, 2010, 9:26 am Hey. I was just reading the Portland Tribune, and I didn't know that our mayor called Storm Large Portland's First Lady, and then I read this article about her. I find out that she's a drug user, a heroin user, and has been having sex since she was like 10 years old and that she is a major, major slut. That just tells me right there how confused, whacked out, unmoral, and undecent, and how farfetched you are, Mayor Sam Adams. She's not even from here. May 21, 2010, 12:55 pm I've been here for about 75 years, and I'm so disappointed in you, Adams, and your raising of the sewer and water rates. And now you want to take that money and siphon it off for low-income bioswales, and all the other environmental whacko stuff that this city does. I'm against it. I resent it. July 2, 2010, 4:12 pm I'm calling long distance. I'm in Texas and I've been made aware that the local reptile shop on Pacific Highway has a black mamba; and I think that's very dangerous, and I'd like to have something done about it. I used to live in Portland. July 6, 2010, 11:30 am This is bull crap, man. I'd rather be under British rule than sit and listen to these idiots giving my mother a heart attack. There ain't no police going to do nothing. You sit there and say that this stuff is illegal, when every single asshole in this city is, you know, lighting off M-80s and Roman Candles... the city sounds like Vietnam, man. August 2, 2010, 12:53 pm I voted for you, dear. I would always agree with you—but I do think they are missing where a lot of money is being spent. And, I make the best rye Old Fashioneds you ever had. August 13, 2010, 8:42 am I hope this message goes to Mayor Sam Adams, because he's the appropriate one and he's the one I called and the one I want to talk to. I hurt. I'm crippled. I can hardly walk anymore... I want to go home. I want to go back to living... I've had it... I'm tired of living on the street... I want to die, but God won't let me, will he? I want to fuckin' die because everyone refuses to see me and give me proper care. It's probably way too late now, huh? [Sobbing.] August 30, 2010, 1:30 pm Yes, Mr. Mayor: I think you're making the legal gun owners criminals, and letting the criminals off. I disagree with your gun stance. I think you're anti-gun. I got the information from the NRA, and I believe you're wrong. So, you can kiss my ass. Goodbye. September 3, 2010, 3:34 pm Mayor Adams: I worked for you. I voted for you. I did everything I could to make sure you got elected because I believed in you. You are a miserable failure! This whole bag thing?? I am disabled. I cannot carry a paper bag. The only thing I want bagged is you. Paper or plastic, paper or plastic? Mayor Adams. How would you like it to be? Paper or plastic? I hope someday you're disabled and you can't carry anything either. September 7, 2010, 10:14 am Hey, I'm calling to see if Mayor Adams had the opportunity to read Mr. Canzano's column in Monday's paper. Thanks, Mayor Adams, for making the city such a better place with your useless bike lanes and your bicycle projects. I wouldn't vote for you, Mr. Adams, if you were running for street sweeper on my street. You are that pathetic. Thank you. September 15, 2010, 12:55 pm I've just heard the news that the ultra-far-left whackjob liberal mayor and city council of Portland, Oregon, will be raising the Mexican flag over city hall over the urging of the Mexican consulate there in Portland. Yes, once again, you've shown your complete disdain for America, with your multicultural, diversity, far-left, fruitcake, secular, progressive agenda shining through bright and clear. September 23, 2010, 11:48 am Sam: I have two degrees from Reed Fucking College, and I'm so proud of you that you understood that the best way was just to fire all the motherfuckers on the [budget advisory] committee. You're really getting it, Sam. You're not going to be a one-term mayor. You're going to go the max.
Download Episode 13 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Oh, hello there. Guess what? We've got a fresh batch of Mercury Music Hour, just for you. The Mercury Music Hour broadcasts at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every single week on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. You can listen to this week's episode right now on your computer machine. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 13 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 12 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann It's that time of the week for you to play catch-up. Here's this week's episode of the Mercury Music Hour, which you might have missed on the radio. (The Mercury Music Hour broadcasts at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every single week on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm.) Don't worry. It's available for you right here, right now. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 12 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump! A brand new episode of the Mercury Music Hour airs next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12 noon on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm.
Download Episode 11 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Are you ready? Here's Episode 11 of the Mercury Music Hour, another hour of all local music. Don't like local? Don't like music? Don't like hours? Too bad, you're in the wrong place, sucka. The Mercury Music Hour broadcasts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12 noon on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. And now this week's episode is ready for downloadin'. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 11 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!
Download Episode 10 of the Mercury Music Hour
By Ned Lannamann Well, well, well. Look who's back for more. It's Episode 10 of the Mercury Music Hour, and this might be the rarest episode yet, since it missed at least one of its broadcast slots on the radio this week. (We blame our robot overlords.) When/where does it broadcast? Why, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12 noon on 910 AM, on HD radio at 94.7 Too, and streaming online at 947.fm. Or, listen to this past week's episode right now on your computer. LISTEN:The Mercury Music Hour: Episode 10 OR: DOWNLOAD EPISODE HERE Playlist after the jump!