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 Hank Sanders 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 55: "Omicron" (Dr. Jennifer Vines)
Last Saturday at 7:00 AM

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...

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.

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.

Episode 44: "Debt Ceiling" (U.S. Senator Ron Wyden)

Episode 43: "Prostitution" (Karina Brown and Bianca Beebe)

In this episode of The Dive Podcast, we talk to freelance journalist Karina Brown. Karina wrote this week's Willamette Week cover story all about prostitution stings in Portland. Sex work is illegal in the city, but many are complaining that the police are mishandling the situation. Listen to our interview as we ask Karina about things in her article that had us scratching our heads. We also talk to sex worker Bianca Beebe about her experience.

Oh, and we bring you the news...it's quite a show.

Episode 42: "The Weed Episode" (Brianna Wheeler and Tess Riski)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we invite on freelance writer and weed aficionado Brianna Wheeler. Brianna tells us all about how to source the best pot in the city. She also tells us why Justin Bieber is just soooo wrong. We also have Tess Riski - a WW reporter - back on the show to tell us about what is going on with body cams on Portland's police. 

Thank you for listening, as always.

Episode 41: "True Crime: Poaching" (Tess Riski and Nigel Jaquiss)

In this episode of The Dive Podcast, we go behind the scenes with journalist Tess Riski on her story all about a poaching ring that has formed in Oregon. As police officers look to crack down on poaching to protect our wildlife, one suspect comes into the picture. His checkered past and bragging texts make him a primed villain in this true crime story. 

In this episode, we also break down what is going on in City Hall as well as the turmoil at Providence Park. We invite Nigel Jaquiss - a Pulitzer Prize-winning Willamette Week investigative j...

Episode 40: "Maps" (Hunter Shobe and Aaron Mesh)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we talk to PSU professor and map maker Hunter Shobe. In his new book, he uses maps to compare Portland with SF and Seattle. He uses these maps to draw conclusions about what makes Portland stand out. We learn about what keeps us weird, what our city's identity is, and where we are headed. We also talk to WW editor Aaron Mesh as he takes us behind the scenes of this issue. As always, we fill you in on the news and all the biggest headlines. If you like pizza...

Episode 39: "The Fat Biking Movement" (Marley Blonsky)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we sit down with Marley Blonsky ask she tells us about a movement she has started to make biking more accessible to larger riders. Hank also shares a personal story with you about his relationship with the Mayor and how he predicts trouble for the Wheeler administration.

Episode 38: "Ivermectin" (Anthony Effinger)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview freelance writer Anthony Effinger about his article concerning ivermectin. Ivermectin is commonly used as an animal de-worming medication but Portland-based podcasters Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying have been preaching its effects against COVID-19. It has now become a favorite medicine among the anti-vaxxers despite experts warning of its effects. We digest this story and more on E38 of our show.
Thanks for listening, see you next week.

Episode 37: "Fall Arts Guide" (Suzette Smith)

In this episode, we go behind the scenes on Willamette Week's Fall Arts Guide. Learn about the best artistic productions in the city from the WW Arts and Culture Editor Suzette Smith. Also, get an update on all the biggest news stories of the week. All that in under 20 minutes, episode 37 is happy to have you.
Thanks for listening, see you next week :)

Episode 36: "Portland International Raceway" (Emma Pattee and Stuart Henigson)

In this episode of the Dive podcast, we talk to Emma Pattee and Stuart Henigson who co-wrote this week's cover story for Willamette Week. This story is all about the Portland International Raceway. Based in Kenton, this race track admits so much noise it is constantly breaking city law. And yet, this racetrack - which is owned by the city - keeps on breaking the law and disregarding the citizens in the area. We talk about this very complicated issue with two people who have been studying it for a year. 

We also get you a...

Episode 35: "Hydro Hogs" (Sophie Peel)

In this episode of the Dive, we discuss Sophie Peel's cover story. Sophie wrote this week's leading story all about the 20 people in Portland who use the most water. We talk about these so-called "hydro hogs" and the state of Portland's water system. We also talk about the failing attempt to impeach Mayor Wheeler and go over the biggest stories of the week.
Thanks for listening, we hope you enjoy, and please join us again next week!

Episode 34: "Parenting" (Shannon Gormley)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we begin by going over some of the biggest stories of the week in our city. There are several fascinating stories to discuss that you will not want to miss. Our main story concerns a piece written by Shannon Gormley all about a nonprofit called Families for Climate. This group makes climate change fun to learn about by making it a family affair. Come behind the scenes with us into this group's meetings and agenda. 

Thank you for listening to this episode, we will see you next week!

Episode 33: "Portland Nightlife" (Tess Riski) -

In this episode, we interview reporter Tess Riski about her cover story surrounding private security firms that have popped up to replace the Portland Police force that has been reduced due to slashes in the PPD budget. We talk about why these companies are controversial and also why the police have put businesses in this situation in the first place. Thanks for listening and see you next week! :)

Episode 32: "Private Sector Homeless Solutions" (Homer Williams and Lisa Marandas)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview Homer Williams and Lisa Marandas of Oregon Habor of Hope, a privately funded program looking to reduce homelessness in Portland. Together we discuss the upcoming plans to curb homelessness in our city as well as the intricacies of the private and public partnerships. Thank you for listening, and we will see you next week. :)

Episode 31: "Multnomah County Chair" (Deborah Kafoury) -

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. We ask Chair Kafoury questions about homelessness, the vaccine rollout, and a potential run for Governor of Oregon. Thanks so much for listening to this episode and come back next week for the final installment of our special guest series. See you then! :)

Episode 30: "Paley's Place" (Vitaly Paley)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview one of Portland's leading pioneers in the food industry. James Beard Award-winning Chef Vitaly Paley opened his innovative restaurant Paley's Place 26 years ago. Since then, Chef Paley has opened up several other acclaimed restaurants. After dealing with covid, protests, and Portland's homelessness issue, Paley has closed all his restaurants except his namesake spot. We ask Chef Paley about the last year and what it's like to open and close a restaurant. Thanks for listening and come back next week for another special...

Episode 29: "Secretary of State" (Shemia Fagan)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview the second most powerful person in Oregon, Shemia Fagan. Serving as the state's Secretary of State, we wanted to know what the person one heartbeat away from the Governor thought about a series of topics. We ask her about her performance and her accomplishments. We also give you some insight into a recent WW cover story all about the best music in Portland. Thanks for listening to this podcast and see you next week for yet another special guest.

Distant Voices: (Scott Oviatt x Kim McCarty)

In this edition of Distant Voices, WW reporter Shannon Gormely interviews Scott Oviatt. Scott works for the Oregon branch of the Natural Ressources Conservation Service. He tells listeners about how the warm weather is affecting snowmelt and the consequences of the lack of snow that we are seeing. Also on the episode, WW reporter Sophie Peel interviews Kim McCarty about the upcoming end to the eviction moratorium. Kim gives her perspective on the matter as the Executive Director of the Community Alliance of Tenants in Oregon. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Distant Voices, and...

Episode 28: "District 51" (Janelle Bynum)

In this episode of The Dive, we talk to Oregon State Rep. Janelle Bynum. Rep. Bynum presides over District 51 which includes a large swatch of east Portland. We had questions for one of the only black female Representatives in Salem. Thank you for listening and see you on Wedensday! 

Distant Voices: (Paul Loikith x John McAfee)

In this episode of Distant Voices, we feature an interview between Willamette Week Reporter Sophie Peel and Dr. Paul Loikith. Dr. Loikith is a climate expert and he tells listeners about the unprecedented heatwave that Portland experienced last week. We also air an interview between Willamette Week reporter May O'Hara and John McAfee. McAfee recently died in a Spanish prison on tax evasion charges. McAfee lived a wild lifestyle after he was capitulated to wealth and notoriety by his anti-computer virus company McAfee Computer Security Company. He tells of his time in Portland in this interview taped...

Episode 27: "The Heat Wave" (Ron Wyden)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. The topic of discussion? How f***ing hot it's been in Portland. We talk forest fires, global warming, and climate change legislation in this exclusive discussion with Senator Wyden. Thanks for listening to this episode and join us next week for another discussion with another leader in the community. Also sorry for not giving you a Distant Voices episode this week, we'll be back next week. :)

Episode 26: "Health Crises in Multnomah County" (Dr. Jennifer Vines)

In this episode of The Dive Podcast, we speak to Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. Dr. Vines has been in charge of the County's response to COVID-19 and all other health crises that our city and county face. Naturally, we had a lot of questions for her.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Dive Podcast. Come back next week for another awesomely special guest.

Distant Voices: (Jeff Hawthorne x Jake Silberman)

In this episode of Distant voices, editor Aaron Mesh interview Jeff Hawthorne about Portland's new statue of York. Matthew Singer interviews Jake Silberman - freelance cartoonist - about his new documentary about how the comedy industry is coming back. Thank you so much for listening and see you with our special guest on Saturday.

Episode 25: "Commissioner Mapps" (Mingus Mapps)

In this episode of the Dive Podcast, we interview Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps. Fresh off his victory over incumbent Chloe Eudaly, Mapps has had a rollercoaster first few months. Between working to bring the city back from COVID-19, dealing with the homelessness crisis, police reform, and so much more, Mapps has had a front-row seat as he and his colleagues attempt to solve the city's biggest issues. We talk to Mapps about all of these topics in a spirited conversation. Thanks so much for listening to episode 25 and come back next week for the third installment...

Distant Voices: (Amy Shapiro x Sharon Erez-Shai)

In this episode of Distant Voices, Matthew Singer interviews singer/songwriter/music teacher Amy Shapiro. Amy discusses her campaign to change Oregon's state song. Also on the episode, Aaron Mesh interviews Sharon Erez-Shai. Sharon teaches Hebrew at Portland State and she describes the conflict in Israel, and at PSU on the episode. Thanks for listening to this episode and see you on Saturday!

Episode 24: "The Mayor, Pt. II" (Mayor Ted Wheeler)

We are joined on the show for the second time by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Last time we talked about homelessness. This time, Wheeler steps into the hot seat to answer questions about a variety of the biggest things facing him and this city. From his handling of the BLM protests to the recall effort to Portland's $5.7 billion budget, Wheeler discusses the hottest issues of today in this exclusive interview. Thanks for listening. Come back next week for another interview with someone who is greatly impacting the lives of those who live in our city. Oh, and...

Distant Voices: (Sean Highkin x Eden Ferede)

In this edition of Distant voices, Willamette Week staff interviews Sean Highkin, a reporter for Bleacher Report. Sean discusses the Blazers post season direction. We also talk to Portland Israeli Eden Ferede about her experience and views on Isreal. Thanks so much for listening and see you on Saturday for a special guest on Dive.  

Episode 23: "Pride and the Hardesty hit and run" (Alex Jankowski and Tess Riski)

In this Episode of the Dive Podcast, we talk to freelance author Alex Jankowski about this year's Pride month celebrating LBGTQ+ people in Portland. We also talk to Tess Riski about what's going on with the investigation into the police leak of the wrongful accusation against City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Thanks for listening to this episode. :)

Distant Voices: (Brad Pugh x Andi Prewitt)

In this episode of Distant Voices, Willamette Week's Shannon Gormley talks to weather expert Brad Pugh about what we can expect this summer in terms of wildfires. Pugh tells us about the potential consequences of most of Oregon being under extreme or severe drought warnings this year. We also air a clip of WW's Andi Prewitt interview on KATU News as she walks us through her cover story from two weeks ago all about beer. If you didn't read it or listen to our interview on Dive, thats okay because this four-minute clip...

Distant Voices: (Meara McLaughlin x Dr. Jenny Liu)

We start this week's episode with an interview between WW music and visual arts editor Shannon Gormley and Meara McLaughlin, the executive director of MusicPortland. Meara tells us about the music scene in Portland post COVID. We also listen in on an interview between news editor Aaron Mesh and Dr. Jenny Liu. Dr. Liu is an economics professor at PSU and serves as an economics adviser to Governor Brown. She tells us why businesses are having a hard time finding workers. Thanks so much for listening to this episode, see ya Saturday.