Federal Audit Makes Trouble for Schroeder
Amanda Schroeder, a candidate for the Multnomah County Commission, has come under scrutiny from her labor union, owing to a U.S. Department of Labor audit of the union's finances when Schroeder served as president. That audit, concluded in June, showed inadequate documentation for at least $65,314.82 in spending. Schroeder served as president of the American Federation of Government Employees Union Local 2157 off and on from July 2013 to May 2016, during which time she also battled breast cancer. In a June 21 letter, the Labor Department said it would take "no further enforcement action," but questions about the spending exploded in an Oct. 7 special meeting of the union. Marcia Blaine, the local's current president, says the union is considering launching its own investigation because the federal agency has declined to provide more details. Schroeder, who attended the meeting, says she did nothing wrong. She says she inadvertently used her union debit card three times for minor personal purchases but repaid the $50 after the purchases came to light. "It's been probably one of the ugliest experiences of my life," she says.
Cowlitz Casino Battle Ends
The epic battle over the Cowlitz Casino in La Center, Wash., may finally be over. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, owner of Oregon's largest casino, has challenged for years whether the Cowlitz tribe has the right to build a $510 million casino in La Center. Now, however, the Grand Ronde has abandoned plans to appeal its case to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a statement the tribe provided WW. "Although La Center is outside the historic lands of the Cowlitz Tribe," the statement says, "Grand Ronde has decided to direct its current resources to completing the remodeling of Spirit Mountain Casino on its reservation and future resources to the development of projects in Grand Ronde's homelands around Portland." Those projects include redeveloping Multnomah Greyhound Park in Wood Village.
Timber Giant Harry Merlo Dies
Oregon timber titan Harry Merlo died Oct. 24 at age 91. From 1973 to 1995, Merlo ran lumber company Louisiana-Pacific Corp. in a swashbuckling fashion that stood out in Portland's staid corporate culture, and was a booster of the city's burgeoning soccer scene. In his later years, he held a majority ownership of Portland Bottling Co., a longtime foil for City Hall. The company was sold Nov. 1 to Limnes Bottling Acquisition Co., owned by Ed Maletis, former owner and CEO of Columbia Distributing, one of the country's largest beer distributors.
Give!Guide Kicks Off
Willamette Week's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at giveguide.org. This year's goal is to raise $3.6 million from 10,000 people. And the rewards go beyond knowing you've done good. If you give to a charitable cause on Nov. 3, you'll have a chance to win Trail Blazers tickets and a jersey signed by C.J. McCollum. If you give on Nov. 10, you'll have a chance to win a $500 shopping spree at Powell's City of Books.