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April 29th, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Your Weekly Booster Shot Of News.

     
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  • In 2007, then-state Rep. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) hammered the Oregon Department of Human Services for rejecting an offer from the federal government to sell Oregon 361,000 doses of Tamiflu and Relenza—anti-viral medications the swine flu outbreak have made into hot commodities (see “Flu Flap,” WW, Feb. 28, 2007). Earlier this year, now-Sen. Boquist introduced legislation that would build a state anti-flu stockpile. Should the state, which is awaiting an allocation of antivirals from the feds, have bought in 2007? “Absolutely,” Boquist says. Acting state epidemiologist Dr. Katrina Hedberg was unavailable for comment.

  • The firm headed by Portland’s top divorce lawyer, Jody Stahancyk, is being sued by a former legal assistant who claims she was sexually harassed. Laurie Kendall filed suit April 24 in Multnomah County Circuit Court against Portland-based Stahancyk, Kent, Johnson Hook for wrongful discharge, claiming she was fired Jan. 5 for complaining about sexual harassment from her boss, Ron Johnson, a shareholder at the firm’s Prineville office. Johnson did not reply to a phone call and email seeking comment. Stahancyk responded in an email April 28 that her firm “does not, today or yesterday, condone any form of sexual harassment.

  • Three months after Mayor Sam Adams holed up for days in his Kenton bungalow to consider resigning, the official calendar at City Hall still lists Adams’ absence during that time as unexplained. Originally, Adams was to be on “city business” in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 16-23. But when WW broke the news he’d lied about his sexual relationship with Beau Breedlove, Adams returned on Jan. 20 and held a press conference to confess publicly. Adams didn’t attend the following day’s City Council meeting on Jan. 21. He stayed home on Jan. 22, too. Eventually, his office told the city clerk that Adams was absent Jan. 23 for “personal” reasons, not for “city business.” Despite requests for an update, Adams’ office hasn’t decided as of April 28 how to classify Jan. 20-22.

  • Criminals who skip their court date may breathe easier after Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler’s proposed budget last week. His budget called for cutting two of four sheriff’s deputies assigned to serve the county’s backlog of 30,000 outstanding warrants. Meanwhile, bail-bondsmen hoping to return to Oregon—which banned their trade in 1974 (see “Manhunter,” WW, July 2, 2008)—are making some progress in Salem. Paul Romain, who’s lobbying for the bondsmen’s return, says there’s no major opposition to letting them hunt down wanted criminals for profit, but there is concern that it be done right. House Bill 2682 calls for more study before the next session. “No one wants Dog [the Bounty Hunter] wandering through the state,” says Romain.

  • The latest daily circulation numbers for the nation’s largest newspapers show a continued free fall—one that hasn’t spared The Oregonian. Editor Publisher reports that for the six months ending this March, circulation fell by 7 percent nationally for the dailies, compared with the same six-month period in 2008. The O’s circulation declined 11.76 percent over that period—one of 11 papers among the nation’s 25 largest to suffer a percentage-point decline in double-digits.

  • More evidence auditors are the only professionals with job security: LaVonne Griffin-Valade, the former Multnomah County auditor who is running unopposed in the May 19 election to replace Gary Blackmer, is already learning the ropes of city government. Griffin-Valade recently started a four-week temporary position at City Hall filling in for Drummond Kahn, Portland’s director of audit services who is on loan to the state. Kahn is working for Secretary of State Kate Brown as her interim director of the Oregon Audits Division, a role Blackmer will fill permanently on June 1. 
 
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