Axios Portland

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โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ It's Wednesday. Give it up for Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day, multitaskers!

๐ŸŒง๏ธ Today's weather: Rain. High 41, low 35.

๐ŸŽง Sounds like: "What Was I Made For?" by Billie Eilish

Today's newsletter is 915 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read

1 big thing: A better look at Portland's homelessness

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Oregon has the second-highest rate of unsheltered people in the nation, according to the federal 2023 Point In Time count, but a Portland State University analysis provides a deeper dive into homelessness in Rose City.

Why it matters: The new report gives the clearest picture yet of who has housing and who doesn't, and PSU suggests how to help solve the problem.

The PSU report adds housing inventory and homeless students to the usual count of people in shelters and on the streets. It also breaks down groups by age, race, ethnicity and gender.

What they're saying: Here are the three key findings, according to Jacen Greene, assistant director at Portland State's Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative and the study's lead author:

  • Homelessness is up, despite counties adding more shelter beds, because rising prices are pushing people out of their homes at a faster rate.
  • Homelessness doesn't affect people equally, and people who face more barriers to housing โ€” people of color, LGBTQ+ people and those with disabilities โ€” are more likely to end up unhoused.
  • Rural areas had the highest rates of homelessness in the state. "They're living in cars and tents, in parks and in the forest, they're just more out of view," said Greene.

The big idea: The long-term solution is to build more housing. Greene puts Oregon's statewide housing shortage at close to 140,000 units.

  • He said Project Turnkey, where the state buys a hotel and reopens it as a shelter run by nonprofits, has better outcomes than traditional mass shelters.

The bottom line: The unsheltered need more supportive housing, with aides nearby to help them reintegrate, according to Greene.

  • A person living on the street can cost the taxpayer $40,000 per year because of emergency room visits and criminal justice interactions, he added.
  • "You're not going to shut down a bunch of prisons and hospitals to pay for supportive housing. Since we know what works, how are we going to pay for it?"

Tell a friend

2. โœˆ๏ธ Airline workers picket at PDX

Flight attendants picket outside O'Hare International Airport in Chicago yesterday. Photo: Taylor Glascock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

More than 300 flight attendants, pilots and other airline workers picketed outside Portland International Airport yesterday as part of a nationwide demonstration over pay and working conditions amid ongoing contract negotiations.

The big picture: Multiple unions representing 100,000 flight attendants for Alaska, United, American, Southwest and other airlines picketed outside 30 airports nationwide.

Between the lines: The industry norm is they don't get paid until the plane doors close.

  • Union members say they aren't fully or directly compensated for their work during boarding, deplaning or for time on the ground between back-to-back flights.
  • In 2022, Delta became the first U.S. airline to pay flight attendants during boarding โ€” at half the rate.

Zoom in: This isn't the first time airline workers have demonstrated in front of PDX to challenge their pay structure.

  • In December, shortly after Alaska Airlines announced its plans to buy Hawaiian for $2 billion, over 200 Alaska flight attendants picketed as part of the union's efforts to ensure "pay for all time on the job, on the ground and in the air."

What they're saying: Flight attendants are "forced to work long days, with little rest, increased responsibility and fuller planes with no increase to compensation," particularly following the pandemic, union leader Brice McGee told Axios' Kate Murphy.

What the airlines say and what's next

3. Rose City Rundown

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

๐Ÿ’ฒ Democratic lawmakers are proposing scaling back Gov. Tina Kotek's priority housing bill from $500 million to $350 million. (OPB)

๐Ÿงจ A dead fin whale, the second-largest species in the world, washed onto shore at Sunset Beach State Park near Astoria yesterday.

๐Ÿš” Nearly half of Portland drivers have expired license plates, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

  • PBOT has ended its pandemic-era grace period for tag renewals and is set to issue tickets again. (KOIN News)

4. Best Day Ever: Charles Froelick

Charles Froelick's art gallery is in Old Town but he likes to hang out in his Roseway neighborhood for authentic cuisine, chihuahua walks and vintage shopping. Photo: Courtesy of Tyler Thompson

Charles Froelick's contemporary art gallery in Old Town's DeSoto building is an anchor of the Portland scene.

  • He's there five days a week, but on his best day ever he'd stay near home in the Roseway neighborhood.

โ˜• Breakfast: A pour-over of Kainos Feakin' Yum blend coffee, then feeding the chihuahuas.

๐Ÿถ He and his partner Scott walk them through Wellington Park, then Rose City Golf Course "for views of our local volcano, Mount Tabor."

๐Ÿœ Lunch: Pho at MeKha.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ A shopping stop at Bolt. "It has a unique fabric collection, they have great colors and patterns. We also like Rerun2 on Sandy for furniture, housewares and oddities. Cool people with a good eye."

๐ŸŽจ Carve out "some time in my garden or my studio," adds Froelick, who has a BFA in sculpture from the University of North Texas.

Dinner plans

5. โค๏ธ Checking in with Brett Brown

Tiffany Pennywell Brown and Brett Brown met (and married) on Season 4 of "Love is Blind," which was filmed in Seattle. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Reality TV addicts, rejoice! The new season of Netflix's "Love is Blind" is officially here.

To celebrate, we checked in with Season 4 fan-favorite Brett Brown who met his wife Tiffany on the show, which aired last spring and filmed in Seattle.

  • The two live in Portland, where Browns a footwear designer at Nike.

๐Ÿฅ˜ If you had one last meal in Portland left, where would you eat?

  • "One of my favorite restaurants in Portland is Akadi," he told Axios via email. "I'd have the suya wings to start and finish with the jolof meal with beef!"

๐Ÿฅฉ What do you think of Seattle's beef with Portland?

  • "I think a little city pride is a good thing," Brown said.

What he thinks is overrated

๐Ÿ”ฅ Joseph is in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) purgatory.

๐Ÿ˜ Meira is hanging out with her two valentines, Piggy and Joby. Oh, and her husband, Julian.

This newsletter was edited by Shane Savitsky and copy edited by Steven Patrick and Carolyn DiPaolo.