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September 9th, 2009 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Time-Based News All Week.

IMAGE: James Pitkin

  • Eric Pepin, a guru from Beaverton who helps students seek enlightenment through psychic powers, has settled a lawsuit by a former acolyte who says Pepin sexually molested him when he was 17 (see “Eric the Enlightened,” WW, May 13, 2009). Pepin, his Higher Balance Institute, and Jamison Priebe—Pepin’s follower, employee and romantic partner—were named in the 2008 lawsuit brought by the man who used only the initials “CNY” in court. They settled Aug. 24 for an undisclosed sum. Pepin did not return phone calls, but a spokesman responding by email called the allegations of abuse false. The week after the settlement was reached, the company began offering the seven-CD lesson “The Secret Key: Igniting the Sixth Sense” for half off its regular $205 price.

  • Stay out of my district: Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) did not waste any time gearing up for a potential challenge from Portland State University lobbyist Jesse Cornett. After WW reported last week that Cornett was planning the unusual step of challenging an entrenched incumbent with four terms under his belt, Schaufler reported a $5,000 contribution from the Oregon Beverage PAC and told Cornett there was a lot more in the pipeline. As reported at wweek.com, Cornett advised supporters on Monday he would move to Schaufler’s district but would not enter the race.

  • Don’t count on seeing the oft-delayed Convention Center “Headquarters Hotel” anytime soon. Mayor Sam Adams, the project’s chief booster, will meet with Metro Council President David Bragdon and Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler Sept. 18, 10 days before the next deadline for all three public-sector partners to green-light the project. The trio will discuss tourism taxes, which are slated to help finance the HQ hotel. Wheeler and Bragdon remain very skeptical of that project. “Last December, our staff concluded it didn’t pencil out and recommended discontinuing it,” Bragdon says. “Conditions have only deteriorated since then.” Meanwhile, Wheeler wants to re-examine how tourism taxes are used. “The timing [for the hotel project] is certainly not good,” Wheeler adds. “Hotel taxes have decreased 20 percent over the last year.”

  • City Center Parking President Greg Goodman is still making headway with the charitable arm of the Portland Business Alliance to transform the city’s trash-scape. By the end of the year, Goodman expects to install 30 new BigBelly trash cans in the central city. So, what’s got him so excited about garbage bins? For one thing, the $4,000 trash cans are also trash compactors. For another, they’re solar powered. Already in wide use in Seattle and Philadelphia and in limited use in Portland, each trash can has a capacity five times greater than a typical bin, according to its manufacturer, Seahorse Power Company.

  • Mayor Sam Adams would like to encourage more Portlanders to report potholes on city streets. As a reward, he’d like to institute a monthly raffle with a prize of $25 gift certificates to Fred Meyer or other stores. As of last month, the mayor’s office was still reviewing whether such a system was feasible. City transportation officials estimate they fill about 75 potholes a week. To report one, call 823-BUMP.
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