Hood Life

9 Hikes Around Hood | Swimming Holes and Hot Springs | Camping Without Reservations  |Paddling and Canoeing | Rock Climbing | Steeper, Harder, and Faster | Portland Outdoor Shops | Mt. Hood Pit Stops | Photo Contest

From the Editor

You’ve really gotta go see the map.

Not right away, but after you’ve done some exploring—a weekend camping and paddling at Lost Lake, a hike to Punchbowl Falls, some climbing at Cascade Boulders and maybe a drive across the Lolo Pass.

Once you’ve spent some time around that beautifully symmetrical peak looming on Portland’s skyline, climb the stairs at the Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, and drink it all in. That spectacular relief map, over 8 feet wide and donated by Timberline Lodge in 2001, gives you a bird’s-eye view of the area in this guide. Even if you’re well-acquainted with the land it covers, there’s something you’ll notice and want to explore later.

The more you poke around the roads and trails on Mount Hood, the more you realize just how special this land is. Tucked into the little valleys cut from the glacier-fed creeks that wind their way down to the rivers where you can paddle or raft, we have lush green mazes of fern and moss capped by giant whitebark pines that have been standing since the time of Columbus.

And it’s more than nature. There are folks who’ll say you’re not really an Oregonian until you’ve had a doughnut from Joe’s and a drink on the bar bench at Charlie’s. And if you haven’t soaked up the minerals at the century-old
spa in the Gorge
or the suds at Oregon’s best Belgian-style brewery, you’re cheating yourself out of the pleasures of this place.

So get out there—it’s summer, the sun is shining, and the rivers are running warm. And come winter, well, grab some snowshoes and eye a trail on that spectacular model. 


9 Hikes Around Hood | Swimming Holes and Hot Springs | Paddling and Canoeing | Rock Climbing | Steeper, Harder, and Faster |Portland Outdoor Shops | Mt. Hood Pit Stops | Photo Contest

Don’t Have Campsite Reservations? Try These Seven Spots

BY MARTIN CIZMAR AND MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Portlanders love the outdoors. If you need proof, just go onto ReserveAmerica.com right now and try to book a camping spot for July.

Chances are you’ll be directed someplace like Lake Owyhee State Park, a short seven-and-a-half hour drive to the high desert of Eastern Oregon, where July temperatures top out at 112 degrees and bottom out just above freezing.

But like so many things in Portland—apartments, jobs, swimming holes—there are semi-secret spots that locals who know the angles use to enjoy our forests at their peak. Here are a few to get you started.

Lost Lake

Lost Lake isn’t exactly a secret, but it’s here just in case you’re unaware of this gem. For those who want a quick getaway to a postcard-worthy spot in the Hoodland, this little lake on the north face of the mountain is ideal in almost every way. First, because it’s beautiful—in fact, every bit the equal of the south-side lakes that have been booked up since Valentine’s Day. Second, because it’s big—148 campsites, only a few of which can be reserved in advance. Third, because there’s a lodge with a well-stocked camp store that assures you won’t run out of beer and marshmallows by Saturday afternoon. They’ll rent you boats to take out onto that lake, too. For Portlanders who aren’t planners, this is the spot. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Take Interstate 84 east to Exit 62. Turn right at Cascade Avenue, then right onto Country Club Road, then left onto Barrett Drive. After 1.2 miles, go right onto Tucker Road, then go two miles and right onto Dee Highway for 6.3 miles. Take a right onto Lost Lake Road and follow twists and turns until you see signs for the resort.

Dispersed camping anywhere in Mount Hood National Forest

Sure, the forest has all sorts of public campsites with useless luxuries like “running water” and “plumbing,” but smart locals have known for years that basically every plot of land in the national forest is pretty much fair game for a 14-day span. If you find free spots near a public-use area with restrooms, smart campers might just pay the day-use/parking fee and make use of the facilities there. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Chris Bentley says you’re not allowed to wander into nearby campsites and use their showers, but also says it’s unlikely that people will chase you down if you’re a bad citizen who likes to cheat the Forest Service. There are, however, some simple rules to dispersed camping in the forest, and you should expect a friendly visit from a ranger who tracks such things, including the license plate on your car. But it’s pretty simple not to screw it up: Don’t light a fire except in a fire pit, and not unless you have a two-gallon bucket, shovel and ax. (The ranger will probably ask to see them, so make sure you have them.) You may not pitch your tent nor drop your personal dookie closer than 100 feet from any trail or 200 feet from any river. And they ask that you pack out every damn thing you pack in, including toilet paper. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

NF-57/Oak Grove Fork

Follow Oregon 224—the Clackamas Highway—along the river, and mostly what you’ll find is a pile of campsites that have already been staked out on the Internet. But it’s
cool. All you have to do is keep driving, until you hit the end of the road altogether. Take the NF-57 fork at the end of Oregon 224, and you’ll begin to discover, on your left toward the river, little untended campsites. These don’t have potable water. And they don’t have power. And they don’t have a restroom. But if you get there early enough (go Thursday night), they are all yours, hugged right up against the Oak Grove Fork tributary of the Clackamas, with the sound of the water lulling you to sleep so you can wake up early and drink beer. MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Green Canyon

Most campgrounds on the west side of Mount Hood are reserved long in advance. Of the exceptions, Green Canyon is your top pick. From U.S. 26 you’ll follow a tunnel of moss and pine along a rushing creek, past the 742A trailhead and a tall, black rock face that’s popular with climbers. The campground itself is nicely spaced, with 15 sites and two pit toilets. Can’t land in the campground or want an even more picturesque spot without water and toilets? Go farther down the road for some well-trod primitive spots. Before you get to the cement bridge there’s a pull-off by a handful of unofficial spots near a deep bend in the creek that has its own little sand beach. The ground is flat and soft, with a decomposing pine providing a natural sleeping mat that’s very plush. Strike out there, too? Just over the bridge there are a few more spots on the left, by the creek. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Go east on U.S. 26 to Zigzag. Go south on NF-2618 (E Salmon River Road), which is about a mile past the town of Wemme. Follow the road south for approximately four miles. Campground is on your right.

McNeil Campground

The best part of McNeil is the smell: that hot, brittle, high-desert pine scent, like it’s about to catch fire at any moment. In the summer, that may or may not appeal to you, but it’s what this 34-spot, reservation-free campground along the Sandy River has to offer. There’s a smattering of tall pines that don’t provide much shade and ground covered in low-set shrubs. There are also stunning views of Hood, and you’re near the trailhead for spectacular Ramona Falls, which is an excellent, seven-mile-round-trip hike. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Go east on U.S. 26 to Zigzag. Go north on Lolo Pass Road, Forest Route 18. Follow 18 northeast across to Forest Road 1825, which starts at the right fork onto a bridge. Follow 1825 east to the campground.

Beacon Rock/Reed Island

You can’t get around Western Oregon’s camping-spot shortage just by crossing the Columbia River. There are only seven state parks on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and only two have campgrounds not on the reservation system. If you have a boat and don’t mind roughing it, consider Reed Island, which sits in the Columbia just east of Vancouver. The 512-acre island has two primitive campsites and there is very little competition for them. A more realistic option is Beacon Rock, which sits in the shadow of the 848-foot basalt monolith that offers some of the region’s best traditional rock climbing. The park has 26 forested tent sites that are all first-come. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Take I-84 east to Exit 44 for the Bridge of the Gods. Cross the bridge and turn left to go west on Washington State Route 14, the Evergreen Highway.

Clackamas County Parks

Those who don’t want to risk getting shut out of a first-come campsite should remember the three campgrounds in the Clackamas County Parks system (clackamas.us/parks). They do take reservations, but fewer people think to use them. The spot is 116-acre Barton Park, which sits on the Clackamas River near Boring. The park has an impressive 102 campsites, some shaded by old-growth trees, with water and electric hookups, plus another seven primitive sites. There’s also Metzler, five miles south of Estacada, which has 60 sites with water and electric hookups and another 15 primitive sites with water nearby. Then there’s the jewel of the Clackamas parks system, Feyrer Park, just south of Molalla on the Molalla River. It’s heavily wooded and the river has some of the better swimming holes you’ll find near a park with toilets. These campgrounds take reservations but the system won’t allow you to see available sites if your arrival date is within the next three days, so you should call to ask about a last-minute reservation. If you’re trying to find a site this weekend, call 742-4414. Good luck—you’ll need it. MARTIN CIZMAR.

9 Hikes Around Hood | Swimming Holes and Hot Springs | Camping Without Reservations 

Paddling and Canoeing | Rock Climbing | Steeper, Harder, and Faster  

Portland Outdoor Shops | Mt. Hood Pit Stops | Photo Contest

The Whistleblower

MICHAEL RODGERS
IMAGE: Adam Wickham

On Friday, Feb. 20, Michael Rodgers
looked up from his iPad to the parking lot outside his Salem office
window. Three people strode toward the entrance of his building. He knew
who they were, and he feared they were coming for him.

Rodgers had worked
for Oregon state government for 15 years. More than 200 people reported
to him. In an office of quiet, often introverted techies, he stood out,
not just because he was their boss, but because of his gregarious
nature. He was the guy who planned Hawaiian shirt days and had his team
occasionally don tinfoil hats.

Rodgers’ group
supported the computer and email systems for thousands of state
government employees, from the lowliest assistant in the most obscure
agency, right on up to the governor.

None

IN RECENT WEEKS,
Rodgers had been thinking a lot about the governor. John Kitzhaber had
resigned in disgrace two days earlier, quitting in the wake of
influence-peddling allegations involving him and first lady Cylvia
Hayes.

Kitzhaber for weeks had been under pressure to resign. But Rodgers believed the final shove came when WW reported that Kitzhaber’s office had tried to delete emails that could be used as evidence in a growing investigation.

Rodgers, 56, was the
state official who had stopped the efforts to delete those emails. But
someone in state government, still unidentified, had told WW
about the attempt—and then leaked thousands of Kitzhaber’s emails stored
on state servers. Rodgers was responsible for the security of those
emails.

Rodgers put down his
iPad. He recognized the three people now striding across the office
toward him as state human resources officials. “When HR shows up en
masse,” Rodgers says, “something is up.”

The HR officials got to his door.

“Collect your personal items,” one told him.

Rodgers always hung
his coat on the back of his office door when he arrived in the morning,
and often forgot to take it home at night. He had six coats there now,
and he grabbed them all. He wasn’t going to be back for a long time.

Heads popped up over
cubicle walls as the officials escorted Rodgers out of the building. “It
was a perp walk,” he says. “It was devastating.”

More than three
months later, Rodgers is still on paid leave. He must stay home during
work hours. “It feels like I’m in jail,” he says. “I’m just missing the
ankle bracelet.”

This week, Rodgers decided to go public with a secret he can keep no longer: He was the person who told WW about the attempt to delete Kitzhaber’s emails. And he’s the one who leaked more than 6,000 of Kitzhaber’s emails to WW.

Rodgers has been
under separate investigations by the Oregon State Police and the Oregon
Department of Justice
. On May 6, a Marion County prosecutor told
Rodgers’ attorney that if Rodgers didn’t give up his $143,000-a-year
state job, he could be charged with a crime. Rodgers refused to quit.

Some people think Rodgers violated Kitzhaber’s privacy and shirked his own responsibility to protect state data.

Rodgers says he was
simply trying to stop public records from being destroyed. And he wanted
Oregonians to know that the emails the governor’s assistant sought to
delete were relevant to the ongoing investigation of Kitzhaber and
Hayes.

He accomplished that goal. But in the process, he’s gone from being a high-ranking state official to an exiled whistle-blower.

Rodgers may be the
latest casualty of the Kitzhaber scandal, an unprecedented chapter in
Oregon political history that has altered much more than the lives of a
four-term governor and his fiancee.

For no gain and at
great personal risk, Rodgers committed a courageous act that has brought
him nothing in return except mounting legal bills, potential indictment
and probably the loss of his career.

He’s breaking his silence now because the isolation and investigations have worn him down.

“Life has not been good for me,” Rodgers says. “I can’t do this any longer.”


MICHAEL RODGERS had a routine: He
would wake every morning at 6:15, feed his four Louisiana Catahoula
Leopard dogs, and sit at the dining-room table of his west Salem home to
check his state-issued iPad. He wanted to make sure the state’s
computer systems had operated properly overnight.

His routine was
forever altered at 6:45 am on Feb. 6, when he read an email from a
subordinate. Its subject line said, “Governor’s email account.”

Rodgers, a Democrat
who twice voted for Kitzhaber, usually didn’t pay much attention to
politics. Yet like most Oregonians, Rodgers knew Kitzhaber was in
serious political trouble, in large part because Hayes, the first lady,
had accepted more than $220,000 in consulting fees from groups seeking
to influence state policies.

He also knew The Oregonian
had filed a public records request seeking all emails from Kitzhaber’s
personal accounts, which had been archived on state servers for the past
three years. Rodgers’ office handled these requests, and he believed
that any emails stored on state servers were public records.

Rodgers opened the
message, which included a string of emails that had been passed up
through the chain of command in his office. The original message had
been sent the day before by Tracy Osburn, a state computer tech. Osburn
reported a call he’d received from Jan Murdock, the assistant to
Kitzhaber.

“Governor’s
office wants anything that is in the email account from
hundrethmeridian@att.com (or something close to that) removed from the
archive,” Osburn wrote.

“My first reaction was, ‘Oh, fuck,'” Rodgers recalls.

Rodgers tracked down Osburn, who confirmed what was in the email. (Osburn tells WW the conversation took place as Rogers described.)

“Tracy
was concerned that email deletion was not something we’d normally do,”
Rodgers says. “People were aware there was a lot going on with Cylvia
Hayes and the governor. There were a lot of red flags.”

Rodgers knew he faced
a politically sensitive situation, prompting him to go the top. That
meant meeting with Michael Jordan, the state’s chief operating officer.
Jordan answered directly to Kitzhaber.

“Mike
Jordan has a rule,” Rodgers says. “If there is something controversial,
you don’t text or call him. You go see him in person.”

Rodgers arrived at
Jordan’s office at 8:30 am on Feb. 6, and told him Kitzhaber’s office
had asked to delete the emails. He told Jordan that deleting the emails
might be illegal. Under Oregon law, it is a crime to knowingly destroy,
conceal, remove or falsely alter a public record.

Rodgers expected that Jordan would back him up and support his conclusion.

Instead, Rodgers says
Jordan grew irritated. He told Rodgers that he would walk over to the
governor’s office to find out what was going on. Jordan did not respond
to requests for comment.

Rodgers drove back to
his office at the State Data Center on Airport Road. “I was filled with
anxiety that I’m going to be asked to delete the emails,” Rodgers
recalls. “If I’m asked to delete them, what do I do?”

Later that morning,
Jordan called Rodgers and told him that Kitzhaber’s top staff wanted to
review the emails. He directed Rodgers to copy the emails to thumb
drives and bring them to Jordan’s office.

In other words, Rodgers believed, Jordan was telling him that the governor’s office would decide which emails would be deleted.

Rodgers was now more
worried than before. He had seen the state repeatedly fail to turn over
public records in a timely or complete fashion, and he worried that
Murdock’s request to delete emails might still be carried out.

“I wanted to make sure that data wasn’t destroyed,” Rodgers says.

So he copied the
emails, as Jordan asked. And then he inserted two Kingston thumb drives
into his computer and made a copy of the Kitzhaber emails for himself.

“It was a hard decision,” Rodgers says. “I would like to trust the people I work for to do the right thing.”

It turned out he was right to be concerned.

A
few hours later, Matt Shelby, Jordan’s spokesman at the state Department
of Administrative Services
, confirmed to Rodgers that the staff in the
governor’s office, including Liani Reeves, the general counsel, would
review the emails.

“The governor’s office was going to give us their opinion as to what to delete,” Shelby tells WW.
“I never had clear direction from Michael Jordan or anybody else that
their request was to be the final say.” Reeves declined to comment. 

At
the time, Rodgers believed that despite his efforts to prevent the
deletion of the emails, the governor’s office would try to get its way
after all.

None

THE NEXT DAY, Feb. 7, a Saturday, Rodgers plugged the thumb drives into a laptop and opened Kitzhaber’s emails.

Some
were clearly personal in nature. But thousands dealt directly with
state and political issues. Rodgers found emails from 2014 between
Kitzhaber and political consultant Patricia McCaig in which the two
discussed Cover Oregon, the failed $300 million health insurance
website. Cover Oregon had backfired on Kitzhaber and put his 2014
re-election bid at risk.

Rodgers
also found emails between Kitzhaber and Hayes that showed how
influential the first lady was in the governor’s administration—and how
she hoped to benefit from her access to Kitzhaber.

Rodgers understood
right away why the governor’s office might seek to have emails removed
from the state server: They could be damaging to Kitzhaber.

“It scared the shit out of me,” Rodgers says. “I was afraid if they knew that I knew the truth, they could come after me.”

Many people might have stopped there, tossed the memory sticks in a river and kept quiet. Rodgers believed he had to act.

“I needed to do something,” he says, “but I didn’t know what.”

Rodgers
didn’t trust the Oregon State Police—he knew its budget was controlled
by Kitzhaber and Jordan. Rodgers went online looking for help. He saw
that four of the seven justices on the Oregon Supreme Court were
political appointees. So were all of the members of the Oregon
Government Ethics Commission
.

“I felt I had nowhere to go,” Rodgers says.

At one point, Rodgers
stopped by the Oregon Department of Justice to see lawyer Lisa
Umscheid, with whom he’d worked. He broached the subject with her in
general terms.

“If I’ve got concerns
about the way an important issue is being handled, but I can’t go to my
superiors because they are involved, what should I do?” Rodgers recalls
asking.

“Mike, you need to
understand that my job is to defend the state,” Umscheid told him. Says
Rodgers: “I took that to mean it wasn’t a viable option for me to talk
more with her.” Umscheid declined to comment, saying any meetings she
might have had with state employees are covered by attorney-client
privilege. 

Rodgers felt the information he had gathered was increasingly important as Kitzhaber’s behavior turned erratic.

On Tuesday, Feb. 10,
amid growing rumors that he might resign, Kitzhaber summoned
then-Secretary of State Kate Brown home from a trip to Washington, D.C.
Brown would take over as governor if Kitzhaber resigned—and that led to
more speculation that he was about to quit.

But
when Brown returned to Portland, Kitzhaber met her at the airport and
inexplicably asked her why she had cut her trip short, a meeting that
Brown was later to characterize as “bizarre.”

After his meeting at
the Department of Justice, Rodgers turned to a state human resources
official. He told her that he was aware that Kitzhaber’s office had
tried to delete emails from the state servers.

“I have nowhere to turn,” Rodgers told her.

“Maybe,” she said, “you should go to the media.”

Rodgers didn’t know
any reporters, but a friend suggested he call Sheila Hamilton, a
longtime television and radio journalist who hosted a morning show on
101.9 KINK-FM.

On Wednesday, Feb.
11, at about 1 pm, Rodgers called Hamilton. He was nervous and described
in general terms the information he had.

Hamilton suggested Rodgers contact WW.

THE DENNY’S RESTAURANT in
Wilsonville was nearly empty at 9:30 pm on Feb. 11, except for three
baseball-capped young men noisily ending their evening at a nearby
table.

Rodgers had called me
an hour earlier and described his job and his concerns about high-level
efforts to make Kitzhaber’s emails stored on state servers “go away.”

We’d agreed to meet
that night at a spot between Portland and Salem. Rodgers walked in
wearing a gray hoodie and jeans, slid into a booth and ordered coffee.

Rodgers wanted anonymity and WW‘s assurances that, if he gave WW
the actual emails, the newspaper would not publish those that were
clearly about personal matters. Rodgers then put a stack of papers on
the table.

He
had compiled a detailed chronology of everything that had happened since
Feb. 6, the day he learned of the effort to delete Kitzhaber’s emails.
The stack of papers included the email in which Tracy Osburn had
documented the request by Kitzhaber’s assistant, Jan Murdock, to delete
emails.

Rodgers said he felt
conflicted. His job was to safeguard government records. He was a loyal
employee, he loved his work, and yet people above him seemed willing to
delete information that, in his words, “is a matter of public record—and
concern.”

He then slid a transparent plastic file folder across the table that had held two thumb drives—one green and one black—inside.

“These are Kitzhaber’s emails,” he said.

Then
Rodgers left. When he drives, he usually has his car stereo blaring. “I
realized that I had driven home in silence,” he says. “I was thinking,
‘Oh, what have I done?'”

None


THE NEXT MORNING, Thursday, Feb. 12, WW
prepared a story about the Kitzhaber administration’s request to delete
the governor’s emails from state servers. The plan was to get that news
out first and report what was in the emails later. At KINK’s studio in
PacWest Center in downtown Portland, Hamilton stood by, ready to break
the story on air as WW published online.

Hamilton texted Rodgers to alert him. “Keep your head down,” she wrote.

The reaction was swift.  Within an hour, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, called on Kitzhaber to resign.

“The current
situation has become untenable,” Wheeler said, “and I cannot imagine any
scenario by which things improve.” Before the afternoon was over,
Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek, both
Democrats, had joined the call for Kitzhaber’s resignation. 

The next day, Friday,
Feb. 13, Kitzhaber announced he would resign. He had been the
longest-serving governor in state history, and the first in the modern
era to resign because of scandal. He had been sworn in for a fourth term
barely a month earlier. “I took no joy in his resignation,” Rodgers
says. “I didn’t feel any sense of vindication.”

Rodgers barely had
time to think about the governor’s resignation. Only hours after
Kitzhaber made his announcement, the FBI delivered a sweeping subpoena
for hundreds of thousands of state records.

Based on what he’d
seen with Kitzhaber’s emails and the state’s slow and incomplete
responses to earlier records requests, Rodgers worried about document
destruction.

Kitzhaber
had set his departure for five days out, on Feb. 18. The delay made
Rodgers suspicious. “I was concerned,” he says, “that it was giving him
and his staff time to clean house.”

On Feb. 18, WW published stories that quoted directly from several of Kitzhaber’s emails. Only hours after the stories appeared, Jordan called the Oregon State Police and ordered a criminal investigation into the leak.

At noon, Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon’s 38th governor.

The emails that
Rodgers had copied for the governor’s office had since been transferred
to the computers of other state officials, including DAS spokesman Matt
Shelby, Kitzhaber general counsel Liani Reeves, and Kitzhaber’s
assistant, Jan Murdock.

Despite the subpoena,
Rodgers says, Shelby requested that the Kitzhaber emails be erased from
his computer and those of Reeves’ and Murdock’s.

Rodgers told his
staff not to comply. A subordinate, Marshall Wells, contacted federal
prosecutors in Portland about the new request for deletion and was told
any such action would constitute tampering with evidence. Wells was then
told by Jordan’s office not to have further contact with prosecutors.

Shelby tells WW
he made the request at Jordan’s direction. He says the emails were
backed up elsewhere, and state officials wanted to limit access to the
copies after the leak to WW.

The next day, Feb. 19, three Oregon State Police officers showed up at Rodgers’ office.

“Even the
plainclothes officers had their guns in plain sight,” Rodgers says.
“They wanted to know the whole story of what happened with the emails.”

Scheduled for 40 minutes, the interview stretched to nearly three hours. One officer asked about the leak to WW.

“Do you know who released the emails?” he asked.

“I didn’t want to lie to them,” Rodgers says. “But I told them I had no idea.”

That was on Thursday.
The next morning, Feb. 20, a state police computer expert, Steve Payne,
sat with Rodgers and his staff examining the state’s email security.

“He said, ‘This is a political investigation, not a criminal one,'” Rodgers recalls.

Later that day, human
resources officials for the Department of Administrative Services
escorted Rodgers from his office and put him on leave. Wells, who’d
contacted federal prosecutors, was also placed on leave.

The
reason the two were given for being sent home was vague, only that they
would be out “pending an investigation” related to the federal subpoena.

In the three months since then, Rodgers’ life has turned into Dante’s nine circles of Hell.

One
day he was fully engaged in his job, surrounded by people he respected.
The next, he was stuck at home, isolated and under scrutiny.  Rodgers remains under investigation by the Oregon State Police and the Department of Justice.

“In the beginning,
people would text me to see how I was doing,” he says. “But as soon as
the Oregon State Police contacted people and told them they knew they’d
texted me, people went into self-preservation mode. Their goal has been
to isolate me.”

On May 6, Rodgers
says, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson offered
Rodgers’ criminal attorney a choice: Rodgers could resign from his job,
or state prosecutors could charge him with “official misconduct”—one
count for every one of the 6,000 emails state police suspected he had
leaked.

Clarkson confirmed to WW the phone call took place but declined to comment.   

Rodgers refused to resign.

None

MICHAEL RODGERS AND JOHN KITZHABER have
a lot in common. They now have more time on their hands than they’d
like, and they’re spending more money on lawyers than they can afford.

Kitzhaber and Hayes
remain under a federal criminal investigation. Kitzhaber lost his job
after he ducked questions, refused to turn over public records and his
office sought to delete emails.

Rodgers also faces a criminal investigation and could lose his job—all because he released Kitzhaber’s emails.

A few weeks ago,
Rodgers’ friends took him to Cinco de Micro, a Salem beer festival. Some
of the revelers were state employees. Word soon got around that Rodgers
was the one who had refused to delete Kitzhaber’s emails. People
slapped him on the back and shook his hand. They also gave him their
beer tokens. “I had too much to drink that night,” Rodgers says.

Those tokens might be
all the reward he gets for risking his career—and his freedom—to make
sure the governor of Oregon was held accountable.

“I’ve reflected a lot and wondered if I did the right thing,” Rodgers says. “I know I did.”  

Beezus Walks

Illustrations by Nick Patton

Ramona Quimby is the Portland child-lit equivalent of a Kardashian. She operates in a self-centered bubble and then gets guide-book chapters written about her. Heck, Portland built a life-sized bronze statue in her likeness and Oregon Children’s Theatre is revisiting Beverly Cleary’s books onstage. But Ramona’s older teen sister, Beezus, is the real badass, with brains, a heart of gold and a willingness to share gummy bears. Where is Beezus’ statue?

In honor of the series’ true hero, we give you this tour of the Quimby legacy, in the name of Beezus.

Somewhere in this vicinity, Beezus and her little red wagon helped dreamy Henry Huggins haul 49 boxes of gum, dumped in a vacant lot by a vending-machine magnate who went bust. 3030 NE Weidler St., 280-1300, fredmeyer.com. 

Portland always stole bikes. Beezus and hunky Henry Huggins went to a police auction featuring enough lost or stolen bikes “to equip half a company of soldiers.” 4735 E Burnside St., 221-0415, portlandoregon.gov/police/30559.

Beezus devotes herself to baton lessons every Saturday. She has lofty dreams of twirling in Portland’s yearly paragon of juvenile marching-band artistry. Northeast Sandy Boulevard and 52nd Avenue, rosefestival.org.

Beezus plays the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Christmas Nativity play. Jealous of her sister, Ramona ruins the rest of a fine Christmas evening by bitching about her sheep costume. 1624 NE Hancock St., 287-1289, westprespdx.org.

When Mr. Quimby loses his job at the storage company, Beezus takes umbrage with her father’s cigarette habit, launching an adamant anti-smoking campaign. 1130 NE 28th Ave., 284-8111, ustorenw.com.

Beezus lives for crispy-outside, mealy-inside fries at Whopperburger, likely based on the gloriously greasy Hollywood [UPDATE: Now Reo’s Ribs], which opened in 1954. 4211 NE Sandy Blvd., 288-6422, hollywoodburgerbar.com.

Both sleuthy and selfless, Beezus spends her time at home eavesdropping through the ventilation pipes and feeding the family cat, Picky-Picky. Beezus theoretically lived on Klickitat Street, but the real house is Cleary’s old place on Hancock. 3340 NE Hancock St.


Creative writing class is the bane of Beezus’ existence. But there’s a whiff of Whitman in her attempt: “See the bird in the tree. He is singing to me.” 1915 NE 33rd Ave., 916-6480, beverlyclearyschool.org.

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GO: Ramona Quimby is at the Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 228-9571. 2 pm and 5 pm Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through May 31. $26-$30.

E-40 For President

I re-watched Citizen Kane this week and got to feeling sad that we don’t really have “€œtycoons”€ anymore. We have super-rich people, we have talentless celebrity types, we have Rupert Murdochs and Ted Turners of the world quietly sitting back, controlling media and wrinkling under an electric blanket. I couldn’€™t pick either of them out of a lineup of other pruny white men. Gone are the days of the charismatic Charles Foster Kane, €”the politician, media mogul, gaudy mansion-building playboy hybrid. Closest I could really come up with was Oprah, and for some reason she hasn’t yet run for office. (I would vote for her.)

For my money, rappers fill some of this cultural void. They’re wealthy, they’re stylish, they often have embarrassing trophy wives, and they’re highly adept at merchandising. There’s a special kind of Charlie Kane-like delusion required to create a designer clothing line of literal rags (Kanye), or to parade a bunch of other extremely wealthy celebrities out to a press conference and try to sell fans an over-priced and barely functional music app under the guise of supporting artistry (Jay Z). I didn’t pay for Tidal, and I can make my own rags at home, but I so enjoy the spectacle. It’s a kind of throwback financial narcissism that makes me want to own a Jay Z special-edition Monopoly board.

I’m from the Bay Area, where I’m pretty sure new condos are being built out of literal gold now (sturdier, for earthquakes). There’s so much money floating around, and yet as a place it’s still kind of devoid of hyper celebrity. Robin Williams was our primary movie star, and well, sadly, he retired. I suppose there are people who could spot Elon Musk or Sergey Brin on the street, but again, are they standing next to other nondescript white dudes? All I see is teeth.

In the Bay, the celebrities I hold most dear are rappers. Spend enough time in Oakland and you’€™re gonna bump into Too $hort. Sometimes you might bump into Too $hort€ while you’€™re waitressing at the terrible theme diner of another wealthy Bay Area musician (Mike Dirnt) and Too $hort tries to recruit you and some of the other waitresses to “work for him.”€ Rap is all about a side-hustle, shoes, clothing, streaming apps, pimping, as €”it i€™s about empire-building.

I respect E-40’s brand of mogul-ing because it’s down to earth, and it’s so firmly rooted in the East Bay, a place I love deeply. E-40 knows that what his fans want most out of his empire is a refreshing glass of mango-flavored moscato and a remix specifically about the Warriors being in the playoffs (Go Dubs!). He’s owned a hip-hop club as well as a Fatburger franchise, and was the first person to bring a Wing Stop to the Bay Area. Those wings are delicious, and I thank him. E-40’s entrepreneurship isn’t delusional; it’s exactly in tune with his fanbase. Not to mention that his physical stature and lowered eyewear choices give him the look of an actual tycoon. Five minutes ago, I could have sworn that E-40 sometimes wears a monocle, and Google has proven me wrong. Turns out, I have been mentally projecting a monocle onto E-40 all this time. That’s how fucking classy E-40 is. I would vote for him for any office, and the first campaign meeting for “E-40 for President” starts in Portland, at the Roseland, tonight. I’ll bring the Sluricane.

SEE IT: E-40 plays Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., with Stevie Stone and Cool Nutz, on Wednesday, May 13. 8 pm. $25. All ages. E-40 will be signing bottles of Sluricane at Tualatin Liquor from 11:30 am-1 pm, Rose City Liquor from 2:30-4:30 pm and Stateline Liquor from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Hold Me

In a perfect world, Holdfast is pretty much perfect.

Just before dusk, you arrive at a semi-industrial street, where the neighboring car dealership recently took down its barbed wire. Inside a sparsely decorated cocoon that could double as a sound stage but for the L-shaped bar and a few barrels of aging pinot, you find two eager young chefs wearing gentlemanly leather-strapped aprons. They know your name and show you to your seat. They bring an aperitif and paint the scene of their drive out to the foggy coast to grab the fresh geoduck clams you’re about to eat. There are no servers or even dishwashers—two guys do it all. No need to fret the order; three well-coursed hours later, you emerge sated, smarter and perhaps with a couple of new friends.

But, of course, the world is not always so perfect. Say you bought that $95 ticket a few weeks in advance, and you’re still chasing off a bug. Maybe your date isn’t feeling up for a marathon meal on a Sunday night. And maybe you’re allergic to shellfish. In that case, you might end up sitting alone in a dark room with a leaky nose, finishing your second drink on an empty stomach, surrounded by happy chatter and eyes made.

The inevitability of those situations has always dimmed my enthusiasm for Portland pop-ups. We’re not talking about a chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant who rents out a roach coach to surprise office drones with foie gras tacos. Rather, we’re talking about a chef-friendly restaurant that operates in the same cheap, no-frills space for months or years and employs a strict reservation system. It’s exactly what so many chefs want and yet are afraid to ask for. But in a city with sympathetic eaters and a rah-rah food press, it’s proven sustainable. And in the case of Holdfast’s 228th dinner, I’m glad of that.

Tartare, Miso, Turnip, Sea Vegetables

Chefs Will Preisch and Joel Stocks—the guys in the custom-made aprons—are local journeymen. They previously worked together at Bent Brick during its ill-fated fling with molecular gastronomy. When that bistro’s owner tossed the pressure-cooked hazelnuts in early 2012, Portland Monthly and The Oregonian both filed obituaries for Preisch’s career and local modernist cooking. And yet, with a minor rebrand and fresh-harvested local seafood, they’ve managed to make the same ideas “Zeitgeisty.”

The menu changes weekly, and there’s a short speech to accompany every course, but there are a few things you should look out for.

The first is the wine pairings, chosen by a different person each week—in this case a local wine distributor. It was the only thing I found lacking. The first two courses came with a 2011 Brooks Ara riesling, whose huge green-apple and grassy notes overpowered delicate fennel puree, celery and baby fennel fronds. It’s a prestige bottle—the 2006 vintage was served at a White House state dinner—but wasn’t well-matched to the food. A caramel-heavy 1999 Spanish white Rioja was too much for subtle halibut, and a 2014 J.K. Carriere white pinot noir called “Glass” was more cute than interesting with dessert.

Green Strawberry, Cucumber, Pistachio and Herbs

But every plate had at least one revelation. A salad of anchovy, peas and pea leaves got a wonderful punch-up from bits of rich, dehydrated olives. It was a perfect setup pitch for the seafood course that followed: innovative, fresh and salty.

And, my God, that halibut—so plump and delicate it ate like a marshmallow, floating like a cloud on a pretty pink rhubarb butter sauce. That prepared us for a soup with broth made from jamón ibérico bones from Ataula. And then, a beautiful beef culotte with a gobsmacking bone-marrow bread pudding atop a few pungent ramps.

Mackerel, Fennel, Green Tea, Lemon

Ramp season is fleeting, and by the time you read this they’ll probably be gone. But here’s some good news: The very best thing on the Holdfast menu was the only thing that comes back for every meal. That’s a cornbread madeleine that looks like Easter candy and gets a wonderful salty-sweet jab-uppercut from local honeycomb and a little Parmesan cheese. It’s followed by two more desserts, then candies, then excellent coffee from Heart.

If you’re anything like me, you walk out a little dazed, having been sucked into the little world that these two guys created. Once you’re inside, it is sort of perfect.

EAT: Holdfast Dining at Fausse Piste Winery, 537 SE Ash St., Suite 102. Dinner 7 pm Thursday-Sunday. Tickets at holdfastdining.com.

Best New Band 2015

In Portland, if you build a music venue, the bands will come.

 

And if you pave it over and put up condos? Well, the bands will find a warehouse, basement or Ethiopian restaurant to play in. No matter how much this city changes, music perseveres. This year’s Best New Band poll is proof positive of that. Our expert voting bloc of 200 journalists, promoters, musicians and fans turned in a staggering list of 457 individual artists. At a time when so many local institutions are closing we’ve decreed the era “Barmageddon,” the bands just keep multiplying. Of the 10 you’ll read about here, most have yet to headline the major clubs in town. All of them, however, are born of a particular Pacific Northwest tradition, best summarized as “down for whatever.”

They all came up playing anywhere they could—garages, pizza parlors, street corners—whether or not there was a stage, lights, a sound system or even people watching.  Our top band is a group of heart-on-sleeve punks who honed themselves into one of Portland’s best live acts playing local living-room eviction parties, VFW halls in Missoula and pinball palaces in Ottawa, and will still take a gig at a downtown taco shop. Another had its best show at a house the size of a walk-in closet. One found its sound from the stage of a creaky dive in Eugene, while another cut its teeth performing for children. And then there are the three rappers—the most we’ve ever had on this list—each of whom has managed to grab attention in a city where hip-hop is practically outlawed.

This process, as we often confess, is not perfect. Many genres remain sorely underrepresented. Women, in general, are regrettably lacking this year. But the Best New Band issue is never meant to be the end of the conversation. It’s the ice-breaker. As always, our hope is that, whether or not you’re thrilled by the artists we’re about to introduce you to, you’ll be inspired to get up, go down to the nearest coffee shop or art gallery or burger chain, and discover the great music being made right in your backyard. Now, if you excuse me, I’ve got a show in someone’s backyard to attend.

— Matthew Singer, Willamette Week Music Editor


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Panic Room Caution: High Volume Bar

PANIC, DON’T PANIC: “I’m just here to punch Jon Taffer in the face!” says the guy in line. The 30-year-old music venue Tonic Lounge is being filmed for the terrifyingly awful cable show Bar Rescue, which Taffer hosts. Except it isn’t the Tonic anymore. Glowing above the sidewalk is a yellow-and-black sign that reads Panic Room Caution: High Volume Bar (3100 NE Sandy Blvd., 238-0543, tonicloungeportland.com). It is, truly, the worst sign in Portland—already a citywide landmark of bad taste.

Two weeks after the show filmed, the new coat of gray slate paint inside the bar is already peeling in places—it’s been rebranded from its former retro-luxe red walls to go with the loose theme of “place of last resort.” Bars agree to appear on these shows to maybe get a few things repaired, but instead the Bar Rescue people installed four tiled flat-screen TVs—which now go unwatched, although one of the cooks jokes about using the screens to play YouTube. The aging sound system was left alone, in favor of a useless lighting stack that presumably looked good on TV. But the lights are on four-month lease; they’ll get repoed after the show airs.

(Emma Browne)

Panic Room Caution: High Volume Bar also got a new—unnecessary, says the bartender—Panic Room Caution: High Volume Bar-branded point-of-sale system. The bar is hoping it can sell it to get money for needed repairs. The new cocktails—gross concoctions made with sponsored liquors—go unordered. Bar Rescue removed food items that the bar (and patrons) wanted to keep, so the bar is quietly bringing them back.

(Ema Browne)

Instead, the show added a weird metal prison cafeteria-tray gimmick called the Ration ($10.95), with Hungry Man-style Salisbury steak, soggy corn on the cob, Buffalo wings, mashed taters, salad and a really nice blondie cookie bar. It’s like the last meal of a Texas inmate—and again, the kitchen is already trying to find ways to fix it, maybe by spicing the steak so it doesn’t taste like “grandpa food.”

Bar Rescue will reportedly come next for Bossanova Ballroom. In the meantime, support the poor people at the new Panic Room Caution: High Volume Bar. Because they invited the devil Jon Taffer in the front door, but the devil done fucked them.