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September 30th, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Insurance Each Week That You Know The News.

     
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IMAGE: Amy Ouelette

  • Steve Shields, a former Hewlett Packard exec from Corvallis, is beavering away on a gubernatorial run in the Democratic primary next May. Shields has met with more than 70 political insiders and groups to explore a run in a field that already includes ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber and former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. And Shields benefited this week from Clackamas County Chairwoman Lynn Peterson deciding not to run (see Rogue of the Week, page 13). Top pollster Lisa Grove, whose candidates have never lost a statewide race, had been working with Peterson. Now she’s helping Shields.

  • A prisoner doing 23 years for manslaughter and assault is suing the state after he says a doctor cut out his testicles unnecessarily. In a 950,000 federal lawsuit filed Sept. 21, Christopher Poulain says prison docs at Snake River Correctional Institution in Eastern Oregon diagnosed him with testicular cancer in 2006 and performed an orchiectomy. The suit claims Poulain, 24, of Coos Bay, wasn’t given proper diagnostic exams and that the organs were found after the operation to be non-cancerous. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jennifer Black declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the state takes inmate health very seriously. “I hope we tried to do the right thing in this case as well,” Black says.

  • There’s a new community policing agreement that cements efforts to make biking safer in Portland. The agreement between the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Portland’s Police and Transportation bureaus is set for a 2 pm public hearing Oct. 15 at City Hall. It’s essentially a “good neighbor” agreement, but it is timely. U.S. Census Bureau figures show an increase in the city’s bike commuting from about 4 percent to 6.4 percent between 2007 and 2008.

    A couple of familiar names showed up on the short list of six candidates released by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for the low-profile U.S. marshal’s job: former Gresham police chief Carla Piluso and Vera Pool, who worked in the county Sheriff’s Office for more than 25 years. Pool made headlines in 1997 (see Rogue of the Week, WW, Nov. 5, 1997), when, as the county’s top jail official, she unilaterally released notorious con man C.J. Brigham prematurely. Brigham is currently serving a 10-year federal prison stint for mortgage-related crimes, a fact unlikely to help Pool’s candidacy. For the full list of candidates for U.S. marshal and U.S. attorney, go to wweek.com.

  • A $214,000 tax bill from Multnomah County got puzzled looks recently from Portland’s Parks and Recreation Bureau. The county determined (erroneously, as it turns out) that the city’s use of the Park Blocks for a farmers market effectively made the city land taxable. The county Division of Assessment Recording and Taxation wanted to collect taxes going back five years. But after a mid-September meeting with City Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees the Parks Bureau, the county assessment office agreed to withdraw the demand.

  • The deadline for people trying to recall Mayor Sam Adams to turn in their signatures is Monday, Oct. 5. Organizer Jasun Wurster says in a new video that the group is “very close” to the required 32,183 valid signatures, but offers no proof of that claim. To watch the odd video, go here.

  • A new FM radio station featuring public affairs and local music is in the works for Multnomah County. There’s no launch date set for KZME’s on-air debut at 91.1 FM—in between KBOO and OPB radio—but organizers are already building an online presence at kzme.fm. MetroEast Community Media, the group responsible for public-access TV in the county, has an $85,773 grant from the feds to buy equipment it needs. That’s half the money it needs—it’s banking on donations from community members and foundations for the other half.
 
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