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August 5th, 2009 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

This Column Needs No Birth Certificate


  • The campaign to recall Mayor Sam Adams has new office space thanks to its latest, high-profile supporter: Joe Weston, one of Portland’s wealthiest developers. As first reported on wweek.com, Weston—owner of American Property Management—donated the office space to the recall campaign for three months at $5 a month. “I think the people have a right to vote again,” Weston says. “The people weren’t given the facts to begin with.” On Monday, the campaign hosted an open house at the new space at 421 N Broadway, next to the Rose Quarter. About a dozen people were milling about the space when Murmurs dropped by.

  • Bernie Foster, publisher of The Skanner newspaper, claims a Eugene-based ad company cheated him out of his slice of a multimillion-dollar contract it won to advertise on TriMet vehicles and stations. According to Foster’s lawsuit, filed July 29 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, an employee of Lamar Obie Corp. took Foster to nine dinners at the London Grill in Portland and promised him a 12 percent stake in an ad contract with TriMet to promote minority-owned businesses. Foster’s $8.9 million lawsuit claims Lamar Obie misrepresented Foster’s role to TriMet in order to win the contract, then failed to give Foster his cut. Lamar Obie’s Eugene office directed questions to its parent company in Baton Rouge, La., which did not immediately return a call for comment.

  • More fallout from the Ponzi scheme run by former Oregon City investment adviser Wes Rhodes that bilked investors of an estimated $26 million (see “The Collector,” WW, July 27, 2007). Portland lawyer Daniel Gatti filed 28 lawsuits July 30 in Multnomah County Circuit Court against investment giant Charles Schwab, and a raft of other financial services firms for allegedly helping Rhodes maintain his scam. Rhodes, who federal prosecutors say used his ill-gotten earnings to buy muscle cars and sports memorabilia, is now serving 10 years in federal prison. Schwab spokeswoman Sarah Bulgatz denies any wrongdoing by her firm.

  • Longtime environmental leader Jonathan Poisner is leaving his job as executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters after 12 years. Poisner, 43, says he’s leaving the 3,800-member organization (it had 3,200 members when he began) because “it’s time to pass the baton off to someone else.” He’s unsure what his next step will be, but he plans to stay in Portland for some kind of public policy work. Plans to find a replacement are in the works and his successor should be announced in three to four weeks.

  • The only thing Commissioner Randy Leonard knits is his brow. But on Friday, Aug. 7, he will preside over what could be the largest group of knitters ever at the 2009 Sock Summit at the Oregon Convention Center. At 12:15 pm, the Sock Summit will try to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of people knitting simultaneously, set in June with 256 people in Sydney, Australia. The convention center has room for 1,600 knitters in its ballroom. Unfortunately, participants cannot knit socks as they try to break the world record because of Guinness’ strict rules that knitters use only two needles during the attempt. (Knitting socks requires four needles.) As for his wait until the big day, Leonard jokes, “I lay awake at night, sleepless.”
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