- State Sen. Margaret Carter (D-North/Northeast Portland) has two words for homeowners: Buyer beware. Carter got sued July 17 in Multnomah County Circuit Court by Northstar Building LLC for $5,500 in alleged unpaid bills the company claims Carter owes for work done on her five-bedroom home in Northeast Portland last year. Carter says she hired Northstar, without a written contract, because the company is owned by the daughter of an acquaintance she serves with on the board of the nonprofit Project Hope. Now Carter says she’s being charged for unfinished work. “I figured we could try to get it worked out,” Carter says. “I should have known better.”
- The national dust-up over health care has prompted a minor skirmish on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. At a July 16 vote on a resolution urging Congress to pass comprehensive healthcare legislation, Commissioner Jeff Cogen offered a last-minute amendment calling for a single-payer system. That upset Commissioner Diane McKeel, who voted no on the amendment while noting that her husband, Gresham dentist Mike McKeel, serves on the board of private insurer ODS. Cogen’s addition also seemed to annoy one of his usual allies, Chairman Ted Wheeler. The chairman voted yes on the amendment, but Wheeler updated his Facebook status afterward to read: “Let’s hear the debate on a range of health reform options. Less bumper-stickering would be better. ...” The resolution, with Cogen’s amendment, passed unanimously.
- Loan Star State: The Portland Development Commission is expected to grant one of its biggest loans ever this week. It’s a $19 million, 60-year loan at less than half a percent to the six-story Pearl Family Housing project to be built at Northwest 14th Avenue and Quimby Street. The project will receive a 30-year tax abatement from the city-owned agency, and its 138 units will be rented to people making $42,000—60 percent of median family income.
- Money is trickling in to the group calling itself “Community to Recall Sam Adams.” The total as of press time was 8,307, with the largest check, $1,000, from Dr. Karen Harris, a North Portland physician. Howard Wall, a Vancouver packaging company owner, gave $500. Recall campaign leader Jasun Wurster says he lunched with ex-Mayor Tom Potter and Potter’s wife, Karin Hansen, on Monday. But it’s unclear what role they will play in the recall campaign. (See our blog for a new lawsuit filed by ex-Adams spokesman Wade Nkrumah against the city.)
- If American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier gets paroled July 28 on his second formal try, the longtime cause célèbre for the left may end up living in Portland. Peltier’s son Chauncey lives in Banks and has helped local Peltier supporter Barbara Dills put together an invitation for Peltier to live here, which includes several willing “sponsors”—including a Multnomah County circuit judge whose name they won’t reveal. Peltier has served 33 years of his two consecutive life sentences for the killing of two FBI officers at Pine Ridge (S.D.) Reservation in 1976. “It makes a stronger parole petition the more options he has upon his release,” says Dills, who’s helped organize a July 27 vigil for Peltier in Pioneer Courthouse Square.