The mission of the North Peninsula Review
To build community with trusted, local contributors, informative articles that foster independent thinking, and regular features that interest residents. We will reflect and celebrate the independent character of North Portlanders.
Our audience stretches from the eastern edge of Peninsula Park west to the St. Johns town center and includes Linnton and Hayden Island.
Owners & Editors
I grew up in a big family in the small, rough around the edges coastal town of Coos Bay, Oregon, but came to Portland to go to college. Later, in 1987 I found in the St. Johns neighborhood with a familiar sense of small town friendliness tinged with a blue-collar feistiness that was easy to relate to.
I graduated from Portland State University with a BA in graphic design because it was the closest major I could find to calligraphy, my true interest. I got a graphic design job in a corporate environment and eventually became a union steward for the Communication Workers of America.
At home I started organizing to fix an unsafe street and eventually became a chairperson of the Cathedral Park Neighborhood Association. It was during this time the superfund discussion was heating up. Political powers-that-be and large corporate influencers appeared to be arrayed against our small community and abused stretch of river.
In a different project, neighbors started a grassroots endeavor to acquire and preserve a native oak corridor around 2000. I joined in and began to help organize the Friends of Baltimore Woods. The one-mile corridor between Cathedral Park and Pier Park is now three quarters acquired. I am currently the board chair. That work has been a joy, and continues to be my main focus: restoring, and advocating for healthy urban nature and wildlife.
Later, I attended Marylhurst University and acquired a Master of Divinity degree after writing a thesis on the value of wilderness as expressed within Judaeo-Christian wisdom tradition, something our culture appears to have completely lost touch with. That program emphasized writing—lots of it. I soon accidentally forayed into newspaper writing in exchange for an ad in the local paper. The first subject I chose was a plan by political leaders and polluters to create a large toxic waste dump in St. Johns from dredged superfund chemicals. They were to be separated from the river by a mere sand dike. I continued regularly writing for the St. Johns Review for a number of years on various themes picked up as an activist.
After the newspaper’s owner retired in 2022, fellow activist Mark Kirchmeier called and said he’d like to start a new community newspaper and asked if I would consider becoming a partner. Having known Mark for many years, it was a pretty easy yes. There are so many stories waiting to be published! I look forward to interacting with readers, our sponsoring advertisers, as well as contributing writers. We take our mission seriously. Mark and I hope to create a newspaper that reflects various viewpoints and encourages respectful discussion and independent thinking.
North Peninsula Review
North Peninsula Review is distributed across the North Portland peninsula, from the eastern edge of Peninsula Park west to the St. Johns town center, and includes the Overlook, Linnton, and Hayden Island neighborhoods.
Whenever I climb to the roof of our University Park home to patch a shingle, I often pause to savor the view of North Portland and its meaning to me.
I can see in the distance the hospital where a daughter was born, the evergreen canopy of Columbia Park where my kids learn to swim, and the spires of the University of Portland campus
And, oh, the sounds that I sometimes hear… Willamette River ship horns… trains rumbling through the St. Johns railroad cut…and the annoyance (for me) of 358-cubic inch engine race cars north of Kenton at the Portland International Raceway.
I spent my first 24 years of life in Eugene, the son of a history-loving millworker father and school teacher mother, and earned a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism from the University of Oregon.
And while I’ve worn many coats since then as a Willamette Week writer, Portland Tribune contributor, UP Portland media/community relations person, author of a critical biography on me-too precursor villain U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood, developing housing on North Intestate Avenue, worked as a caregiver for elderly people trying to stay in their homes, ran for the North Portland legislative seat and currently teach at public school, I am, most of all, a newspaper reporter and information excavator.
That love to dig led to my finding the biggest treasure of my life.
The first time I eyed my future wife-to-be was in a Portland church. I tried to introduce myself to her immediately after the service but she bolted out the door. So I discreetly followed her and scribbled down her Pontiac Firebird license plate number. The next morning, I went to the Oregon DMV office and got her contact information. We celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this year.
Twenty-nine of those years have been at our house near the intersection of North Lombard Boulevard and North Chautauqua Avenue, the site of the Peninsula Optimist Club lot, where the boundaries of the University Park, Portsmouth, Kenton and Arbor Lodge neighborhoods merge.
Our neighborhoods are central to the mission that Barbara Quinn and I bring to the North Peninsula Review (NPR).
The need can be described in two words: “news desert.”
Two robust dailies, the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian once covered North Portland, but then the Journal folded, The Oregonian then closed its neighborhood bureau and no longer even delivers a daily paper.
Such news cutbacks create news deserts where many communities such as North Portland no longer have independent covering public safety, homelessness and housing, environmental dangers as well as the human-interest stories that bond us together.
If local news coverage stops, bad… things… happen…. Civic engagement declines. Cockeyed government decisions go unchallenged. We become ignorant of what’s happening on our own streets and less capable to fully participate as informed citizens.
Nearly all local public officials and government employees are well-intentioned. But they can screw up. They can succumb to interest groups pressure, and individual and institutional ego. We’ll be covering them.
The North Peninsula Review pledges to investigate problems, celebrate successes and with your help make this community one that matches the beauty we see from our windows and roof tops … from the Peninsula Park roses gardens… to the arches of the St. Johns Bridge.
I await your stories and ideas @MarkKirchmeier
North Peninsula Review available at the following locations:
Arbor Lodge & Kenton
- Kenton Public Library, 8226 N Denver
- Kenton Station, 8303 N Denver
- Mock Crest Tavern, 3425 N Lombard
- Cyclemasters Coffee, 2747 N Lombard
- Barlow Tavern, 6008 N Greeley
- Original King Burrito, 2924 N Lombard
- Posie’s Cafe, 8208 N Denver
- Sweet Home Bar & Grill, 2824 N Lombard
- Tuk Tuk Thai Food, 3226 N Lombard
- Umpqua Bank, 3333 N Lombard
Linnton & Hayden Island
- Decoy Restaurant, 10710 NW St. Helens Road
- Linnton Feed & Seed, 10920 NW St. Helens Road
- Lighthouse Restaurant, 10808 NW St. Helens Road
- Linnton Community Center, 10614 NW St. Helens Road
- Starbucks, 1555 N Tomahawk Island Dr.
- Panera Bakery, 1460 N Tomahawk Island Dr.
St. Johns & Cathedral Park
- St. Johns Public Library, 7510 N Lombard
- Cathedral Coffee, 7530 N Willamette Blvd.
- Great North Coffee, 7373 N Burlington
- Leisure Public House, 8002 N Lombard
- Blue Bird Tavern, 8734 N Lombard
- Culture Barbershop, 7911 N Lombard
- Lombard House Pub, 7337 N Lombard
- McMenamins Theater & Pub, 8203 N Ivanhoe
- Over Easy Bar & Breakfast, 6801 N Columbia Way
- Peninsula Station, 8316 N Lombard
- Perch Bar & Grill, 7505 N Lombard
- Revolution Bookstore, 8713 N Lombard
- Sabatino’s Moto, 8501 N Lombard
- The Ranger Tavern, 9520 N Lom bard
- Two Stroke Coffee, 8517 N Lombard
- US Bank 7340 N Philadelphia
- Wonderwood Springs, 8811 N Lombard
- West Coast Fitness, 7522 N Lombard
- Your Inn, 7004 N Caitlin
Overlook / Piedmont / N. Mississippi
- New Seasons, 6400 N Interstate
- The Nitehawk, 6423 N Interstate
- Blend Coffee, 2710 N Killingsworth
- Futura Coffee, 1501 N Rosa Parks
- Greeley Ave Bar & Grill, 5421 N Greeley
- Interstate Dental Clinic, 5835 N Interstate
- Madrona Hill Cafe, 5937 N Greeley
- Mee Dee Thai Cuisine, 2731 N Killingsworth
- Piedmont Place, 736 N Lombard
- Sunlan Lamps, 3901 N Mississippi
- The Stack Coffee, 1831 N Killingsworth
Portsmouth & University Park
- New Seasons, 6300 N Lombard
- On Point Credit Union, 5262 N Lombard
- Chill ‘n Fill, 5215 N Lombard
- Chef Zhou 4828 N Lombard
- Copy Pilot, 4784 N Lombard
- Darcy’s Restaurant & Pub, 4804 N Lombard
- Family Hair Cuts, 4840 N Lombard
- Flying Pie Pizzeria, 5300 N Lombard
- Les Schwab Tires, 5510 N Lombard
- Sundown Pub, 5903 N Lombard
- The Twilight Room, 5242 N Lombard
- Two Point Tavern, 5277 N Lombard