Weekday Wrap: Portland’s Kann and Berlu earn more honors at James Beard Awards

By OPB staff (OPB)
June 6, 2023 8:46 p.m.

Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our news partners around the region

Gregory Gourdet’s Kann wins best new restaurant, while a fast-food union also gets some recognition

The James Beard Foundation shared its annual list of prestigious award winners Sunday, including three from the Portland metro area: Kann, Berlu chef Vince Nguyen and the Burgerville Workers Union.


Portland restaurant Kann was picked as the foundation’s best new restaurant, and a leadership award went to the Burgerville Workers Union. Chef Gregory Gourdet opened Kann last year, earning accolades for wood-fired cuisine inspired by his Haitian heritage.

Berlu chef Vince Nguyen was named the best chef in the Northwest and Pacific region, which includes Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Nguyen opened Berlu in 2019, receiving praise for his contemporary Vietnamese tasting menu.

The Burgerville Workers Union won an emerging leadership award, according to The Portland Tribune. The foundation said the award recognizes the union for its work in 2021 to negotiate the nation’s first-ever fast-food union contract. Since then, the union has organized employees at five locations operated by the Vancouver, Washington-based Burgerville chain and “inspired union action at other food service businesses across the country.” (OPB Staff)

ODOT says it ‘missed the mark’ in pushing for tolling freeways

Oregon Department of Transportation officials stopped short of an apology or a promise to avoid tolling in the future, but one official recently told attendees of a town hall meeting the agency “missed the mark” on a recent push to toll some freeways. Brendan Finn, director of ODOT’s urban mobility office, admitted in state Rep. Annessa Hartman’s town hall, the agency has been “too bureaucratic” and plans to address concerns that have arisen from plans to place tolls on Interstate 205 and other freeways. Hartman and Clackamas County leaders have been critical of tolling I-205, saying it will force drivers to leave the freeways and travel already congested side roads. That and other criticism from the public have prompted Gov. Tina Kotek to call for a “tolling pause.” ODOT still believes it can better “mitigate diversion” of traffic from I-205 to side streets. Another sticking point is determining who would be eligible for an exemption on paying tolls or receive tolling discounts based on income. (Raymond Rendleman/Estacada News)

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Heat, dry conditions and winds prompts burn ban in parts of several counties

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue put a burn ban in place, starting Tuesday morning. That’s due to low humidity, high temperatures and gusty winds in the forecast this week. The ban covers the fire department’s entire jurisdiction, which includes parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties. Burning yard waste or other debris is prohibited during the ban, and violators can be fined if firefighters have to respond. Cooking and small recreational fires are allowed, as long as they’re less than 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall. And they must be kept a safe distance away from anything combustible. The burn ban is temporary and will be lifted when weather patterns improve. (OPB Staff)

Oregon Department of Corrections settles sexual harassment, retaliation lawsuit

The Oregon Department of Corrections has agreed to pay a former correctional officer $500,000 to settle her sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against the agency. The case was scheduled for trial in Eugene Monday. The federal lawsuit was filed in 2021. Ashley Longhorn, a former correctional officer at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, alleged the agency failed to take action against harassment and rumors after she reported being sexually assaulted by a more senior corrections officer. In a news release about the settlement, Longhorn said, “I hope my case will spur a change in the culture of predatory behavior towards female employees at EOCI so that what happens to me never happens to another woman.” (Dianne Lugo/Salem Statesman Journal)

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Central Cascade wilderness permits required as of June 15

Starting on Thursday, June 15, Central Cascades wilderness permits will be required for all overnight stays in the Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington and Three Sisters wilderness areas. The need for permits ends on Oct. 15. Nineteen of the 79 trailheads within these areas will also require a permit for day trips. They can be acquired through recreation.gov along with the overnight permits. Reservations for day-use permits started Monday and can be obtained 10 days prior to a trip. Advanced registration for overnight permits starts Thursday and are available for reservation seven days before the start date of your trip. (Brie Haro/The Bend Bulletin)

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