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June 3rd, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs

     
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WHAT’S BEAU KNOW?

  • Dates to remember: As Attorney General John Kroger enters the fifth month of his investigation into Mayor Sam Adams’ involvement with Beau Breedlove, some milestones to keep in mind: On June 26, Kroger will address the City Club of Portland. And on July 1, proponents of recalling Adams can begin gathering the 32,183 signatures needed for recall. Political insiders say Kroger’s report would need to come before July 1 so it does not land after that recall effort begins. In other Breedlove news, go to wweek.com to read a court document Breedlove filed that unsuccessfully sought a protective order against Oregonian reporter Brent Walth after Breedlove said Walth texted him: “Mexico with Sam. Don’t recall that in your story, beau.”

  • Two former Northwest Airlines baggage employees at PDX were indicted June 1 for allegedly stealing hundreds of items from checked luggage (see “Baggage Claims,” WW, April 29, 2009). Bridgette Bunnell, 43, of Molalla, faces charges of aggravated theft, first-degree theft and first-degree theft by receiving. Jose Trejo Romero, 46, of Vancouver, was charged with aggravated theft and first-degree theft. Court documents describe how the pair allegedly spent months stealing handbags, electronics and other items, and selling stolen goods on eBay using an airport computer. Attorneys for Bunnell and Trejo did not reply to requests for comment.

  • Last month, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman returned his $75,000 speaking fee from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District after reporters in California disclosed the payment. So does the Times’ ban on writers taking money from political groups mean Friedman must return $2,000 from Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability—one of 44 organizations that helped pay to bring him to town March 9? A Times spokeswoman did not respond to Murmurs’ question.

  • Back to school special: Peter Cookson, the former dean of Lewis Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, resigned in 2007 after WW published details of a sexual harassment settlement against him (See “Untoward Mentor, WW, Sept. 5, 2007). Now, the Yale Daily News reports Cookson, 66, is a Yale Divinity School student expected to graduate in 2010. Cookson tells the student paper he’s not planning to enter the ministry. Rather, “he plans to return to education after graduation, but on a global level.”

  • Shed no tears for the man who was at the center until recently of Oregon’s increasingly contentious energy battles: former Department of Energy boss Mike Grainey. Gov. Ted Kulongoski dumped him May 15 under pressure from cranky lawmakers and impatient industry representatives. But Grainey has landed in a senior post at the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, where his salary remains the same at $123,000 a year.  

  • Willamette University will soon house ex-U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood’s diaries. The school says the Oregon Republican is turning over his diaries to the university, but has requested they not become available to the public until 2021. Packwood’s diaries became pivotal when the Senate investigated him after 10 women accused him of groping them. Packwood, a 1954 Willamette grad, resigned from the Senate in 1995 after the Senate Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion.

  • Let the sun shine: Few bills have been amended (16 times!), tweaked or fought over so bitterly as House Bill 3039A, which appears on track to produce a 25-megawatt solar pilot project to brighten the prospects of Oregon’s exploding solar manufacturing sector. Conflict over whether utilities should get extra credit for solar installations under the state’s tough renewable energy standards nearly scuttled the bill. Citizens’ Utility Board lobbyist Jeff Bissonette says his group and others including Renewable Northwest Project fought that giveaway. “That was the first time CUB has ever opposed a solar bill in my 11 years in the legislature,” Bissonette says. The bill passed the House and is now headed for conference committee to iron out remaining differences between House and Senate visions for the solar industry.
 
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