Plus: A soccer double header against Seattle.
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89º | 0% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 5:45 a.m. | Sunset 8:29 p.m.
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A Message From Our Team
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We can’t thank our readers enough for contributing to our fundraising goal. We’re ~$1,000 away from our goal of $2,500 — and our fundraising campaign ends tonight. Help us by giving today and supporting our free, unbiased approach to local journalism. We promise, this is the last time this year we’ll bother you about donations.
‘The only direction is up’
A portrait of Bill Naito in 1990 shows a kind looking, elderly man wearing large glasses and a watch. He poses leaning his chin, covered in a low beard, on top of his stacked fists.
From the Portland Saturday Market to Art in the Pearl, you find ways that Bill Naito bettered his city everywhere you look. | Photo courtesy of Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
City editor Ben here. I’ve lived in Portland for almost six years. In an effort to understand my home on a deeper level, I’ve gotten to know various places and events that shaped the Rose City: the Vanport Flood, redlining in the Albina District, urban renewal, the list goes on.

Somehow, I only recently discovered the legacy of Bill Naito, an incredible person whose name goes way beyond the street signs that carry it. Maybe you were similarly unaware, or perhaps you crossed paths with him — we’d love to hear that story — but his was a life worth learning from.

Dozens of people look at flowering trees covered in pink blossoms with a bridge in the background.

His efforts to beautify Portland are memorialized at the Japanese American Historical Plaza.


Photo by Ben McBee, PDXtoday

In 1925, William “Bill” Naito was born in Portland to parents Hide and Fukiye, Japanese immigrants who made the journey to the PNW in 1912. Initially unable to find a job, his father Hide instead established his own successful retail and wholesale business. When the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the threat of internment to Japanese Americans, his family was forced to uproot and move to Utah.

Upon graduating high school, Bill Naito joined the Allied forces as a member of the famed 442nd Infantry Regiment. After getting an education, he returned to Portland in 1952 and joined the family import business. Eventually they opened Import Plaza in Old Town/Chinatown’s Globe Hotel and would go on to protect more than 20 of the neighborhood’s historic buildings. He famously said, “We have stopped the bulldozer. Now the only direction is up.”

Children play in the Bill Naito Legacy Fountain beside the Portland Saturday Market.

The Bill Naito Legacy Fountain is a popular spot to cool off on sunny days.


Photo by Visitor7

Bill’s other notable impacts include:
  • Founding the Urban Forestry Commission, leading an effort to plant 10,000 trees
  • Being instrumental in development of the MAX light rail system, the Portland Transit Mall, and Portland Streetcar. He also advocated the acquisition and preservation of Union Station.
  • Creating the Galleria, downtown Portland’s first shopping mall
  • Opening the first Made in Oregon store at the PDX
  • Spearheading fundraising for the Japanese-American Historical Plaza
To read more about this self-described “local busybody,” pick up “Portland’s Audacious Champion: How Bill Naito Overcame Anti-Japanese Hate and Became and Intrepid Civic Leader,” the biography penned by Bill’s granddaughter Erica Naito-Campbell.
Which Portland school did Bill Naito attend?
A) Lewis & Clark College
B) University of Portland
C) Reed College
D) Portland State University
Friday, May 10
  • Tasting Room Opening | Friday, May 10 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Lytle-Barnett & Aubaine Tasting Room, 110A SW Seventh Ave., Dundee | Price of purchase | Sparkling wine and single vineyard estate chardonnay and pinot noir will flow at this joint venture’s debut, where 5% of sales benefit nonprofit ¡Salud!
  • Hillsboro Hops Firework Friday | Friday, May 10 | 6:35 p.m. | Ron Tonkin Field, 4460 NE Century Blvd., Hillsboro | $8-$55 | Soak up the show in the sky and on the baseball diamond as you revel in the glorious weekend weather.
  • Blues Carnaval! Rhythm & Blues and the Brazilian Beat | Friday, May 10 | 8 p.m. | Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., Portland | $30-$100 | This benefit concert for Health Care for All Oregon brings Latin flair to the PNW.
Saturday, May 11
  • Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash | Saturday, May 11 | 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 98 SW Naito Parkway, Portland | $30-$40 | Get a sweat going and help provide a second chance for shelter animals.
  • City of Roses Spring Market | Saturday, May 11-Sunday, May 12 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N. Winning Way, Portland | $12-$40 | Shop from 125+ small businesses at this celebration of local creativity put on by Unique Markets.
  • Cultural Immersion Saturdays | Saturday, May 11, Saturday, May 18, Saturday, May 25 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St., Portland | $0-$14 | Dive into AANHPI Heritage Month at this cultural spotlight — this weekend features educational talks, food, and interactive family activities centered around Thailand.
  • Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer & Doughnut Fest | Saturday, May 11 | 11 a.m.-2 p.m. | Culmination Brewing, 2117 NE Oregon St., Portland | $40-$65 | Take a pilgrimage to taste the holy trinity of Portland’s culinary paradise.
  • Portland Thorns vs. Seattle Reign | Saturday, May 11 | 7 p.m. | Providence Park, 1844 SW Morrison St., Portland | $43+ | The visitors must have missed it — there’s no rain (or Reign) in the forecast, and everything’s coming up roses.
Sunday, May 12
  • Mother’s Day High Royal Tea | Sunday, May 12 | 1-4 p.m. | Gray Gables Estate, 3009 SE Chestnut St., Portland | $65 | Honor the queen in your life by putting pinkies out and sipping from delicate china cups like the nobility.
  • Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders | Sunday, May 12 | 1:45 p.m. | Providence Park, 1844 SW Morrison St., Portland | $66+ | Both teams are low on the table, but the animosity is sure to be top level in the finale of this weekend’s “Portland versus Seattle” soccer double feature.
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News Notes
  • The air may be hot in the coming days, but the water is not. Keep that in mind if you plan on swimming, boating, or paddling on the rivers and lakes around Portland. Local waterways range from 40° to 50° and falling in can cause people to involuntarily gasp, increasing the chance of drowning. (OPB)
  • Following several weeks of heated debate that ultimately led to a unanimous City Council vote of approval, a new camping ban is now in effect across Portland. Enforcement will begin after police receive specialized training regarding the ordinance. (KGW)
Furry Friend Friday
  • Meet Vanessa, a 14-month-old Labrador mix rescued from a kill shelter in South Korea by Golden Bond Rescue. She’s lovable, enjoys playing outside, and may or may not be able to pick up satellite TV with her ears — even better, she’s available for adoption.
  • Colombian coffee and cuisine will take center stage at Matta Cafe and Secret Grove, a coffee shop and cocktail bar opening in the same space on Northwest Flanders Street later this month. The days will revolve around arepas; the nights around agave spirits and aguardiente (an anise-flavored liqueur), plus live house music. (Eater Portland)
  • Caitlin Cook, a Vancouver-based artist and journalist, anonymously interviewed around 20 people, listening to their experiences with depression and mood disorders. She ultimately illustrated their stories in “Anhecomics” — a portmanteau of anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure) and comic books. Learn more about her at these local events in June. (Willamette Week)
  • As Scoot Henderson prepares to represent Rip City at this Sunday’s NBA Draft Lottery, coaching rumors are swirling around Chauncey Billups — the word is that multiple other teams are “monitoring his situation” in Portland. Listen to how much truth Locked On Blazers host Mike Richman reads into the story.
    Try This
    We’ll take “patio potables” for $600
    Two Portlanders wearing sunglasses sit at the outdoor patio at Bauman's On Oak. Each person is holding a glass of cider.
    Bauman’s is just one tasty apple in the bunch that’s putting Portland on the cider map. | Photo via Bauman’s On Oak
    The clue: You’ll want to drink up the delightful libations — and the sun — at these Portland establishments.

    The answers:

    Bauman’s on Oak | 930 SE Oak St. | Partially shaded
    Enjoy the spring menu curated by chef Daniel Green (formerly of Cafe Olli) on this award-winning cidery’s dog-friendly patio, which is also home to a pair of apple trees from the Bauman family farm in Gervais. Prepare yourself... cider slushies are coming this summer.

    Dirty Pretty | 638 E. Burnside St. | Partially shaded
    “Palm Springs in Portland” is the vibe that this cocktail bar brings to its new patio, coinciding with its one-year anniversary. Kick back under cabanas and enjoy a full food and drink menu, plus brunch (and a potential drag version). Sunday afternoon parties and movie nights are also on the summer agenda.

    Fools and Horses + Pink Rabbit | 226 NW 12th Ave. + 232 NW 12th Ave. | Fully covered
    These Uncommon Concepts spots are next to each other in the Pearl District, and although each one offers a distinct experience inside, the two are pairing up on the exterior to create a mega-patio with cozy picnic and coffee tables, disco balls, and QR code ordering for their respective kitchens. Expect to see DJ sets, a new weekend brunch menu, and Pride celebrations soon.
    The Buy
    This bestselling cordless table lamp. No cord means it’s ideal for outdoor lounge areas and patios — the rechargeable battery lasts up to 48 hours per full charge. Snag it in black, antique brass, or brushed nickel.
    The Wrap
    ben-mcbee-headshot-2024.png Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    Want to make a Mother’s Day memory you won’t forget? Mount Hood Railroad’s season for two-person railbikes starts this weekend; the journey takes you “through pine trees, next to a small waterfall, past a rare switchback, and through to orchard and vineyard country.” Worried about pedaling that far? Don’t be — there is a battery-powered motor to help you.
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