Willamette Week Podcast

40 Episodes

By: Willamette Week

Join the Dive podcast every Saturday as we quickly cover the week's headlines, and then dive deeper into the big stories of the week. Host Brianna Wheeler sits down with the paper's staff as well as the biggest names in Portland to discuss the city and the events that change lives. The Dive podcast by Willamette Week is the best way to stay up to date with Portland's news, sports, arts, and culture.

Episode 84: "The Odd Squad" ( Lucas Manfield)
Last Saturday at 7:00 PM

This week on the Dive, host Brianna Wheeler is joined by Lucas Manfield,  author of this week's Willamette cover story, "The Odd Squad. " Lucas and Brianna will discuss the process by which Portland determines which police officers are too untrustworthy to testify in a court of law,  and why that process needs reform.

Brianna also covers the big stories of the week including a fire at the Roseway Theater, a surprising endorsement for Betsy Johnson, and the Lloyd Center’s retro resurrection. 

Episode 83: " Weird Summer Tales; Cave of Wonders" (Doug Kenck-Crispin)

On this week's episode of the Dive, host Brianna Wheeler welcomes Kick Ass Oregon History's Doug Kenck-Crispin to discuss his contribution to this week's Weird Summer Tales cover package, Cave of Wonders, an examination of a centuries old shipwreck whose beeswax has been washing up on Oregon shores for generations, and whose most recent discovery may finally uncover it's true origins. 

Brianna also highlights a few stories from this week's paper, including the launch of the Black Resilience Fund, an update on the Taft Home, and where poetry aficionados can get Picture Me Thriving, an anthology from t...

Episode 82: ‚ÄúThe Mystery Of The Taft Home‚ÄĚ (Sophie Peel)

On this weeks episode the Dive, host Brianna Wheeler welcomes back Sophie Peel to discuss her cover story,  an examination of the structural failures that led to the closing of the high risk, low income, senior assisted-living facility, the Taft Home. 

News highlights this week include a potential diesel free Portland, Mayor Wheeler’s gun control initiative versus already burnt-out dispensaries, and flowers for WW’s newest round of media awards. 

Episode 81: "Native Soil" (Brian Burk)

For this week's episode of the Dive, Host Brianna Wheeler chats with staff photographer Brian Burk about his cover story, Native Soil,  a photo essay that followed the staff of the Youth Conservation Crew as they managed the native plants garden at Northeast Portland's Cully Park. 

Check out a "soundwalk"  about the historical significance of Cully Park here: thirdangle.org

Brianna also highlights a few of WW's headlines, including  how charges against Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson have been dismissed by a Multnomah County Circuit Judge,  why Metro finally quit hosting gun shows at the Expo...

Episode 80: "Best Of Portland" (Elyse Lopez, Mick Hangland Skill)

For this week's episode of the Dive, host Brianna Wheeler chats with Elyse Lopez, the host of the True Crime Cat Lawyer Podcast, whose pod was featured in the WW's BOP issue.  WW's own art director, Mick Hangland-Skill also drops in for a quick guest spot to explain how he conceived and executed this weeks iconic cover, a breathtaking  aerial image of Portland's last Big Float event. 

Brianna also shares her takeaways from this week's paper, including PPD's hapless attempts to  curb discriminatory traffic stops, how an alleged hate crime perpetrator was allowed to walk free after arre...

Episode 79: "Ripped City" (Sophie Peel)

 On today's episode, Host Brianna Wheeler and WW reporter Sophie Peel discuss Sophie's cover piece Ripped City, an examination of  Portland's proposed reforms to our city government, including drastically limiting both the power and the responsibilities of our Mayor, expanding the city council to 12 members,  and completely restructuring how we vote. Sophie will break down what all these changes mean to the average voter as well as our elected officials. 

News of the day includes gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson using legislative powers to dodge responsibilities after a car crash,  the shuttering of the Center for Autism and relat...

Episode 78: "Represent" (Dr Thuy Tran, Helen Huiskes)

On today's episode of the Dive, host Brianna Wheeler chats with one of five Vietnamese-American democratic nominees for Oregon legislature,  Dr Thuy Tran. Dr Tran will break down her humble beginnings, the role of Mother Bears in politics, and her commitment to her adopted nation, all while in on a humanitarian mission as the Chief of Optometry for the 142nd Division of the Air National Guard.   Then guest Helen Huiskes describes what she learned while profiling the candidates.

On the news side,  Portland Fire and Rescue is faced with their accountability issue,   Oregon's  AAPI community is legitimately large...

Episode 77: "Best New Bands" (Kingsley)

On this episode of the Dive and after a particularly rough newsday, Brianna presses pause on the feed in favor of an all-Portland mixtape.  Because despite our dystopian reality, art is what brings us together, lifts us up and reminds us of our shared humanity.  So maybe close out your news feed,  put your feet up for a few minutes, and let's listen to ten local musicians who are changing Portland's musical landscape.

We'll also chat with Kingsley, our songstress cover model, about the inspiration behind her recent album, Crying on Holidays, as we listen to a few...

Episode 76: " Scout's Honor" (Nigel Jaquiss)

In this week's episode of the Dive, Brianna and guest, Nigel Jaquiss discuss the film Leave No Trace (now streaming on Hulu) , produced by and featuring Jaquiss himself.  Leave No Trace examines the monstrous legacy of abuse that was allowed to fester within the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America, leading to their eventual bankruptcy amidst thousands of sexual abuse allegations.  We'll examine the critical link between the BSA  and Oregon that made it possible for generations of survivors to come forward as well as the highs and lows of producing a film about trauma. 

Brianna also...

Episode 75: "The List" (Anthony Effinger)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast,  WW journalist Anthony Effinger and host Brianna Wheeler discuss Built for Zero, an initiative that all but guarantees a solution for our growing  homeless crisis.  Can a new and improved dataset suddenly make safe, affordable housing a priority for our most vulnerable community members?  Effinger will break down what he learned while reporting this story, including the success stories from other cities and a dirty little secret or two. 

Brianna also shares what she learned from WW this week, including  which iconic North Interstate neon may soon adorn a new cluste...

Episode 74: "Stories of Pride" (Jayla Rose Sullivan)

Happy Pride y'all!

Is this week's episode of the Dive, host Brianna Wheeler considers the personal meaning of Pride with her guest, legendary cabaret performer, Jayla Rose Sullivan, whose star-making turn on the reality dance competition "Watch Out For The Big Girls" has made her a trans icon nationwide.

Brianna also breaks down what she learned from this week's edition of the paper, including how mental health services for the state of Oregon just got even more scarce, as well as how Betsy Johnson's surprise TedX appearance went down,  why it might have been illegal a...

Episode 73" "Come Back" (Dr Darrell Millner and Nigel Jaquiss)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast,  guests Dr. Darrell Millner and WW journalist Nigel Jaquiss join the pod to discuss the North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy, a plan aimed to entice Black residents to return to the Albina neighborhood via low cost/affordable housing. Not to be confused with reparations, some critics consider this strategy  a hamfisted olive branch that smells like a newer, glossier racial segregation.  Others, however, are singing its praises.  

Brianna also shares what she learned from WW this week, including  details of PGE's attempt to block  the Confederated tribes of Grand Ronde from fi...

Episode 72: "Pod Complex" (Sophie Peel and Rachel Saslow)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, journalist Sophie Peel joins host Brianna Wheeler to discuss the conditions of the popular food card pod, Hawthorne Asylum, and how, due to lax/nonexistent regulations, those conditions may be more common than we think.  But first we're joined by Rachel Saslow, whose contribution to this week's issue is a deep dive into  former WW freelancer Michael Bivins' spiral into extremism, bigotry, and eventually, a violent spree of hate crimes.

Brianna also shares what she learned from WW this week, including which local housing service might need an accountability check af...

Episode 71: "Lights, Camera, Revolution" (Kisha Jarrett and Grace Culhane)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler speaks to director Kisha Jarrett about her upcoming feature Black Girl In The Woods,  the lack of black representation in outdoor media as well as how chronic illness  affected her film. Then journalist Grace Culhane joins the pod to discuss the valuable lessons she learned while writing "The Adventurer,"  her contribution this week's cover package. 

Brianna also shares what she learned from this week's edition of the Willamette Week, including which democratic primaries the richest man in crypto is bankrolling,  how employees of the Gladys McCoy building are f...

Episode 70: "Bitcoin Republic" (Rachel Monahan)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler compares Congress hopeful Carrick Flynn to a cartoon president before she and guest Rachel Monahan discuss his candidacy for Oregon's newly drawn 6th District.  The two then unpack Flynn's controversial big-bitcoin funding, his cold shouldering of local politicos, and why his infamous owl comments were legitimate cause for alarm.

Brianna also shares what she learned from WW this week, including a how Flynn reacts to the basic question, "Are independent expenditures good for democracy?" Listeners are then offered a peek behind the editorial curtain with audio pulled f...

Episode 69: "Help Wanted - WW's May 2022 Endorsements" (Aaron Mesh and John Horvick)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler talks  primary endorsements and voter vibes with WW News Editor Aaron Mesh  and pollster John Horvack.   Brianna and Aaron will discuss accountability in public servants, which candidates are flip flopping, and whether or not there is hope for a blue Oregon.  Then we'll catch up with pollster extraordinaire John Horvick as he explains what he gleaned from an expansive polling of Oregon voters. 

Brianna also shares what she learned from both this week's paper and the accompanying endorsement highlights,  including whose candidacy clapbacks were most accurate,  what advice t...

Episode 68: "The Future Of Cannabis Is Female" (Lauren Yoshiko and Megon Dee)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler celebrates her 420 hangover with two prestigious women in weed:  longtime WW contributor and prolific cannabis journalist Lauren Yoshiko, and this week's  captivating cover model/founder of therapeutic cannabis company Oracle Wellness, Chef Megon Dee

Brianna also shares what she learned from this edition of Willamette Week,  including  how gubernatorial candidate Stan Pulliam's asserted  that Oregon is famous for our "abortion tourism," and  that city council candidate Vadim Mozyrsky's has a penchant for cold showers, self help,  and scream breathing.

Episode 67: "You Can't Afford This" (Michael Anderson)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler applies Terry Pratchett's boot theory of socioeconomic awareness (nerd alert) to our city's current state of affairs before unpacking Portland's housing crisis with  Michael Anderson,  a senior researcher for regional sustainability think tank,  Sightline Institute.

Brianna also shares what she learned from the current edition of Willamette Week,  including a roundup of safety nets and tenant protections  for Portland renters,  the dubious fate of the Pop Blocks, and which of our gubernatorial candidates understands what systemic racism is.

Episode 66: "The Tipping Point" (Anna Buxton and Jon Abernathy)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler unpacks a cover package all about Oregon beer and reminisces about barefoot day drinking before talking shop with recent Oregon Beer Award winner for best new brewery,  Steeplejack's Anna Buxton. Brianna then explores the newest trend in Oregon craft brewing, non-alcoholic dopplegangers,  with ultimate beer expert, Jon Abernathy. 

Brianna also shares what she learned from this week's edition of Willamette Week,  including a plot thickener for the Pamplin Pension scandal and which gubernatorial candidates are the most biologically ill informed.

Episode 65: "The Kotek Puzzle" (Nigel Jaquiss)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler examines Nigel Jaquiss' profile of democratic gubernatorial frontrunner, Tina Kotek, before discussing with Jaquiss a few of the possible reasons so many of Kotek's democratic contemporaries have chosen, despite her thrillingly progressive track record, to endorse her opponent, Tobias Read.  

Brianna also shares 5 things she learned from this week's edition of Willamette Week,  and invites everyone to join her at a happiness pop-up in the Southwest.

Episode 64: "Portland's Funniest Five" (Bryan Bixby and Bennett Campbell Ferguson)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler wonders what it takes to become one of Portland's Funniest Five comedians in conversations with cover package editor Bennett Campbell Ferguson and this year's funniest person themself, Bryan Bixby (aka Brian Bigsby).  Everyone laments the lack of women on the list and hopes to do better next year. 

Brianna also shares 5 things she learned from this week's edition of Willamette Week, including news that mozzarella shot glasses exist.  

Episode 63: "Have You Herd? One Of These Republicans Could actually Be Your Next Governor" (Rachel Monahan)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler examines the dichotomy between progressive Portland and conservative Oregon before  unpacking what a Republican led Oregon might look like with one of our favorite political journalists,  Rachel Monahan.  

We've also got your WW news snapshot, our favorite culture recommendations, and a reminder to call your Grandmother. 

Episode 62: "A Portlander's Guide to Surviving Inflation" (Aaron Mesh and Anthony Effinger)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, host Brianna Wheeler admits to feeling fiscally inferior to a particularly precocious 11 year old  before breaking down "The Portlanders Guide to Inflation" with this week's guests, Willamette Week news editor Aaron Mesh and reporter extraordinare Anthony Effinger.  

We've also got your 90 second Willamette Week news snapshot ~ and ~ we tell you what we loved swallowing most  this week. (Spoiler, it's beer and pizza).

Episode 61: "The Pamplin Accusations and Ukraine" (Nigel Jaquiss and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden)

In this episode of Willamette Week's podcast, we sit down with reporter Nigel Jaquiss. Nigel tells us about a story he's been working on for three months. He has uncovered damaging evidence against one of Oregon's most powerful figures. Multiple experts say that property sales by the R.B. Pamplin Corp. could violate Department of Labor regulations. Nigel takes us behind the scenes of these allegations and walks us through the story.

We also sit down with U.S. Senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden. Sen. Wyden tells us how the war in Ukraine will affect Oregonians like...

Episode 60: "Kristof Ruling" (Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and Misha Isaak)

In this episode, we sit down with the two figures in the center of the biggest story in our State this year.

Episode 59: "Campaign Finance Reform" (Anthony Effinger)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we talk to Willamette Week reporter and frequent guest of the show Anthony Effinger. Anthony brings us into the fold of one of the biggest political clashes of the year. Is the Secretary of State doing some dirty politic-ing or is she just doing her job? There's a battle going on, and we are here for it.

We also give you the biggest headlines of the week and let you know big changes are coming for E60. Thanks for riding with us. 

Episode 58: "Black History Month and Kristof Interview" (Joseph Blake, WW Editorial Staff, Nick Kristof)

In this episode, we include two interviews for you. We begin with an interview with freelance journalist Joseph Blake. Joseph takes us behind the scenes of his cover story which profiled 3 leading black entrepreneurs in our city. We also include a clip from the WW interview of Nick Kristof. We also hit you with the biggest stories of the week. 

Episode 57: "Pets and Politics" (Calley Hair and Rep. Dacia Grayber)

It's pet week! The annual pet pageant took over the cover of WW this week, so we talked to one of the writers who dove into Portland's leading companions. Calley Hair tells us what to look out for as we abandon our best friends when we return to the office for the first time in years. We also talk to State Representative Dacia Grayber about how she used her cat in an unusual way and it helped out big time.

We also tell you all the headlines from this past week and give you dinner suggestions. All...

Episode 56: "Vehicle Homelessness" (Thatcher Shmid)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we are joined by freelance writer Thatcher Shmid. Thatcher tells us about his cover story detailing the lives of Portland's vehicle home community.  While homelessness is a main topic of discussion among civic leaders, these individuals who live in their cars and RVs often fly under the radar. We talk about this community and Tatcher answers our questions about this world.

We also give you the biggest stories of the week. Thanks for listening. You look good by the way.

Episode 55: "Omicron" (Dr. Jennifer Vines)

Join us for a lively discussion with Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. We ask Dr. Vines all the questions that you probably have. Should we be worried about omicron? How has Portland mishandled their COVID-19 response? Can we trust the CDC? Whether you want to learn more about omicron or have questions that most papers won't try to answer, this episode gets you all caught up.

We also give you the biggest stories of the week, complete with the restaurant and bar of the week. Thanks for listening.

Episode 54: "Update on 2022 Governor's Race" (Nigel Jaquiss)

This has been a huge week for anyone who cares about the 2022 Oregon gubernatorial race. First, independent candidate Senator Betsy Johnson sat down with Willamette Week to give a no holds barred interview where she commented on all the hot button local issues. This, in a not so shocking but still headline-making decision, the Oregon Secretary of State ruled that former New York Times reporter and democratic candidate Nick Kristof is not eligible to run. One reporter has been following these two candidates closer than anyone. Nigel Jaquiss joins the show to tell us all about Johnson's plans and...

Episode 53: "2021 Review" (Aaron Mesh)

As we kick off 2022, let's reflect on 2021. We are joined by Willamette Week news editor Aaron Mesh as we talk about the biggest moments from 2021. We hand out some overdue awards and go over some possible takes for what Portland can expect in the upcoming months. It's been great to talk to you for a year, but 2022 can't come soon enough. Join us, won't you?

Episode 52: "The Big One" (Dr. Ashley Streig)

What’s up with the big one? You know, that massive earthquake that is supposed to place downtown Portland at the center of a subduction zone? In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Ashley Streig - a seismologist from Portland State University. She tells us all about what to expect from the west coast tectonic plates that are creating a time bomb under the Rose City.

Thank you for listening, see you next year!

Episode 51: "Night Life" (Tess Riski and Suzette Smith)

Is nightlife back? Has covid left the downtown Portland party scene? Suzette Smith went to bars all over our city to answer the question: "what does the future of nightlife look like in Portland?" 

We are also joined by Tess Riski as she helps us break down the biggest news stories of the week, including more drama in the Portland Police office.

Episode 50: "Kate Brown" (Rachel Monahan)

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has the lowest poll numbers among any Governor in America. Why is that? We discuss theories behind Brown's record popularity with Willamette Week reporter Rachel Monahan.

We also break down the biggest stories of the week. Thanks for listening.

Episode 49: "Trash Wars" (Sophie Peel)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, reporter Sophie Peel takes us behind the scenes of the Portland "trash wars." The city employees responsible for moving your trash are trying to prevent a private company from entering the market. The startup Ridwell offers a subscription product that allows you to recycle things like batteries and lightbulbs - stuff the city garbage handlers will just throw in a landfill. Portland trash haulers say this isn't fair. We break it all down. 

We also hit you with the biggest news stories of the week.

Join us, won't y...

Episode 48: "Jerry's Pizza" (Jared Benedetto)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we talk to the man behind one of the biggest restaurant phenomenons in Portland this year. Jared Benedetto opened Jerry's Pizza during Covid and ever since then tens of thousands of people come to his website each week trying to claim one of his 200 pizzas a week. We talk to Jerry about the last year, his process, his secrets, and what's next for him. 

Thanks for listening and happy Thanksgiving :)

Episode 47: "Lloyd Center Mall" (Anthony Effinger)

If you're from Portland, you probably have strong emotions about the Lloyd Center Mall. Well, that same mall is set to foreclose in the coming months. Have no fear though. Journalist Anthony Effinger is on the case, bringing us the most likely options of what will come of the space. 

Before we bring you in on this exclusive interview, we also get you all caught up on the biggest stories of the week. It's quite a ride, per usual. Thanks for listening :)

Episode 46: "The Kristof Interview" (Aaron Mesh)

In this week's episode, we debreif Willamette Week's cover story which is an interview with one of the biggest names to ever run for public office in Oregon. Nick Kristoff - New York Times Columnist and best selling author - is pitching himself for the position of Governor of Oregon and Aaron has some reflections on his sitdown interview with WW.  We also update you on the biggest local news stories of the week!
Thanks for listening :)

Episode 45: "The Joe Gilliam Mystery" (Nigel Jaquiss)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we talk to reporter Nigel Jaquiss about one of the biggest mysteries in the state: a leading figure in Oregon politics is in a coma after being poisoned twice. Who are the suspects? What are the motives? Listen to the show. No spoilers.