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August 19th, 2009 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Your Weekly Public News Option.


  • Principals with Portland Public Schools have returned to their buildings to begin work for the upcoming school year. But Superintendent Carole Smith will remain at home for at least two more weeks. Smith, who is entering her third year as PPS superintendent, is using vacation time to care for her partner, who was diagnosed with cancer months ago. Smith is expected to return to work on Sept. 8, the first day of school. “We’re continuing to function like we always do,” says PPS spokesman Matt Shelby.

  • Attention Sam Adams supporters: Apparently there are no legal repercussions for defacing petitions to recall the mayor, as long as the signatures remain legible. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office said this week it won’t press charges against Lee Perlman, a longtime neighborhood-newspaper reporter who allegedly scribbled on a petition handed to him by a recall campaign volunteer. The reason: Prosecutors say the signatures remained valid, so they couldn’t prove Perlman caused “substantial inconvenience.” Pissing on a petition wouldn’t erase the signatures either, we suppose.

  • City officials such as Commissioner Randy Leonard are responding to PETA’s appeal for a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages (see “PETA Saddles Up For Another Battle,” wweek.com) by looking to New York City’s regulations for guidance. Those New York rules regulate the watering and feeding of horses as well as temperatures they can work in. The Oregon Humane Society likes the idea. PETA disagrees. “A ban is the only way to ensure horses are treated humanely,” says PETA spokeswoman Desiree Acholla. “Carriages don’t belong in urban environments and they don’t belong in Portland.”

  • Scratch state Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland) from the list of candidates next year for Metro Council president. Dingfelder, who said in May that people had approached her about running (see “Murmurs,” WW, May 13, 2009), says she has now decided against a Metro run because she likes the Legislature, where she is chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Those in the race to succeed term-limited Metro President David Bragdon include 1000 Friends of Oregon Executive Director Bob Stacey and Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder. Dingfelder is endorsing Burkholder.

  • This Saturday, Aug. 22, from 10 am to noon, a group of volunteers will replant the Earl Boyles Community Garden, destroyed last week by vandals in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood. As of Aug. 18, Portland Police had not announced any arrests. But community members aren’t sitting around awaiting help from vandals sentenced to make restitution. They will be replacing the uprooted vegetables with fall varieties, including salad greens, kale and chard, at the replanting party at Southeast 110th Avenue and Francis Street. “It’ll be great to see how many people show up,” says gardener Becky Wandell. “Good things come from bad.”

  • More animal news, courtesy of Oregon’s Department of Agriculture. As reported Aug. 13 on wweek.com, state officials are responding to growing conflicts over service animals in grocery stores (see WW, July 8, 2009). Look for dog-shaped posters to start appearing in your retail food establishment that give tips to consumers upset about seeing Fido or Fluffy sniffing—or much worse—in the fresh fruit section.

  • Members of the Collins View Neighborhood Association have some concerns about the next decade at neighboring Lewis Clark College. They’re worried about light installation and usage at two of the school’s sports fields, as well as possible new dorms for law students. And they’ll bring up those concerns this Wednesday, Aug. 19, when a Bureau of Development Services hearings officer reviews the school’s 10-year master plan. School officials say they’ve met with Carl Vance, vice president for business and finance, who says, “I don’t know any other organization that spends as much money on their neighborhood outreach.” As for the neighborhood group, association member Dave Johnston says, “My wife and I personally would say we like them as neighbors,” but he’s quick to add “good fences make good neighbors.
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