Tag: Portland

Animals Live: An Open Letter To The Oregon Zoo

My new Posted Today page tells me that it was on May 30, 2018, that I sharply criticized the Oregon Zoo for only publicly caring about animals dying when they are marquee animals. Its first line: “Animals die.”

Animals also live, which is why my current point of contention with the zoo is its seeming focus only on certain animals in the public communications during its coronavirus shutdown.

Most zoo visitors likely have a favorite animal or exhibit. I get there are only so many hours in the day, especially with staff reductions and other challenges, but I honestly do not see a valid argument against simply having someone make the rounds to give us updates.

There are six exhibit areas (PDF) at the zoo. At one per day, the zoo could give an update from every exhibit in less than one week. Just walk the route. It doesn’t have to be an entire Facebook Live event; you have a YouTube channel.

Consider this a request from a dues-paying member who until March made a visit each and every week, on behalf of all the other supporters of the zoo, members and non-members alike, who have been waiting three months to hear about their favorites.

It’s absolutely baffling to me how the Bureau of Transportation managed to tell restaurant-owners that their sidewalk permits had been revoked until October without providing sufficient reassurance and guidance regarding the new Healthy Businesses initiative to open up sidewalks, curbs, and traffic lanes. How in the world in this environment do you just up and scare people like that? I get that they’ve since owned up to the mistake in method and messaging, but I’d really like to know exactly how it went down this way.

The Oregonian has a look at challenges for the Oregon Zoo with the lack of income (“they will run out of money by September”) but even their photo gallery doesn’t show me the goats. Someone show me the damned goats; it’s been three months.

Healthy Businesses Permits For St. Johns?

Trying to figure out what streets in downtown St. Johns could work as outdoor plazas under the new Healthy Businesses permit given that the main drag — North Lombard — would be exempt due to being a transit route, I think that segments of Alta, Burlington, Leavitt, and John are good candidates, in that they could be used not only by businesses on those streets but by nearby businesses on Lombard near the intersection(s).

Alta would allow for Champ’s Barber, Affogato, and Homegrown Smoker. Burlington would allow for The Great North, Sol Bowl, Chop, and 45th Parallel Wines. Leavitt would allow for St. Johns Coffee, Wood Fired Eats, Paiku, and North End Barber. John would allow for John Street Cafe, Hot Dog Energy, and Stormbreaker.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that all of these locations become plazas under the new permitting process. These are just my best takes on where they might work.


  1. It’s possible that maybe lower Leavitt would not work due to the US Bank parking lot.

Tonight was takeout from Kung Food Restaurant, only a couple of minutes away on foot, for the Kung Pao Beef which I don’t think I’ve had before. This wasn’t intentionally for Takeout Tuesday, but there you go.

Today’s brief photo opportunity during a mostly-unsuccessful errand outing which, if nothing else, established that even just 72º and sunny already is a point at which mask-wearing starts to become intolerable. High-80s are coming, and then summer.

Today’s weirdest news? The new bagel place in St. Johns is becoming a hotdog place although you’ll still be able to get bagels and schmear. According to that Instagram post, the pandemic forced the closure of the owner’s brunch spot, so now St. Johns gets hotdogs for some reason.

Apparently there are moments in St. Johns when the setting sun perfectly aligns along North Jersey.

More photos of temporary murals around Portland thanks to Willamette Week (the photos) and Portland Street Art Alliance (the murals).

Before I once again, already, all but shut down my blogging activity for awhile due to another bout, already, of cognitive burnout, three positive stories to pass along: a nice look at little free libraries during the pandemic, a nice look at muralists on Foster Road sprucing up the strip during the economic shutdown, and a nice look at quirky ways cities have used to encourage cooperation during social distancing.

I found out how you can get one of these if for some reason you’ve been looking for one.

Early last month I wondered how Multnomah County was approaching social distancing measures when it comes to ballot opening for this month’s primary election. All I got back from them was a statement saying they were following CDC guidance. OPB News managed to get much more detail. It looks like the usual tables of up to four people of mixed party affiliations now are tables of two, sitting at the tables’ ends, keeping them six feet apart.

Link Log Roundup for May 14, 2020

In this edition: autism and actual masking, dining with mannequins, genetic drift, ousting Burr, cats and coronavirus, a new giraffe, black churches, reopening Oregon, COVID-19 and the brain, Oregon restaurants, the post-pandemic commute, bicycles, disability claims, the sage grouse, lockdowns and history, “Obamagate”, walking a trail, test failures, the privilege of escape, Multnomah County, the last Blockbuster, public shaming, and an invasion of goats.

It’s weird that The Oregonian writes that the Oregon Zoo introduced Kiden, their new giraffe, to the public on Monday, given that the zoo is closed and their video of Kiden didn’t get posted until Wednesday, but mostly I wonder where they even have the room for a third giraffe, especially if they’re hoping that Kiden mates with Buttercup. Is there more indoor space at the giraffe exhibit than the part with the public-facing viewing window? My second-level concern is that now I need to learn to tell three giraffes apart, and it was only like last year, I think, that I finally learned how to distinguish Buttercup from Desi.