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October 14th, 2009 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

A Column Worthy Of A Nobel Peace Prize.


  • Some Portland cops are crying nanny state after the Police Bureau recently “clarified” rules to cut sick-leave abuse. Cops must now call their sergeant to ask for sick leave rather than leave a message, and sergeants must ask questions about why officers need the day off. A recent draft report from the chief’s office notes officers and sergeants use sick leave more than twice as often as commanding officers. Line officers say there are simple reasons for that difference: They’re more likely to have sick kids at home because they’re younger, and they’re outside on patrol rather than riding a desk. “Why do football players get injured more than the band?” one cop asks. “It’s idiotic.”

  • Oregon’s Court of Appeals has told Multnomah County to pay Dorothy English’s estate nearly $195,000 in attorney’s fees. That comes on top of $1.15 million the court ordered the county to pay English for preventing her from developing her land. The court decision last week bluntly chastised the county for delaying its payment to English, who was the face of Measure 37 for property rights advocates. “...[T]his became a war of attrition that should never have had to have been fought,” the court said. English died in April 2008 at 95.

  • An update on the new move (see “Recall Revived,” WW, Oct. 7, 2009) to recall Mayor Sam Adams: Murmurs has learned that a second meeting involving about a dozen moderate mainstream business leaders is set to take place Oct. 14. Three sources with knowledge of the meetings say the group is on track to finalize financial commitments that could put paid signature gatherers on the street before the end of October.

  • San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom visited Portland last week to woo the Democratic Party of Oregon’s 50 biggest givers at a fundraiser at the Tonkon Torp law firm. The reason he met with the state party’s President’s Council Oct. 9? To raise cash for his campaign to win California’s 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Newsom currently lags far behind Attorney General Jerry Brown ($1.2 million to Brown’s $7.4 million, says the L.A. Times).

  • Ex-Gov. Neil Goldschmidt and his wife, Diana, made a rare public statement last week, getting a letter published in The Oregonian on Oct. 8 with a cryptic eulogy to Deborah Luppold. “We will miss you oh great one,” the letter concluded. Since the letter never identified Luppold, here’s the context: She was a longtime Comcast executive and the partner of Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith. Luppold died Sept. 2 of cancer.

  • In August, the Oregon Bankers Association wrote the largest check so far ($100,000) to Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes despite its industry’s role in cratering the economy and getting extraordinary public bailouts (see Rogue of the Week, WW, Sept. 2, 2009). Now at least one OBA member, Portland-based Albina Community Bank is distancing itself from the anti-tax effort. “Albina...has not contributed to any political action committees,” Albina CEO Robert McKean said in a statement on Tuesday. “We believe that it is important to publicly state we have not taken a position on this issue.” 

  • With President Obama saying last weekend that he will end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” it’s worth noting that a local group of gays and lesbians who were in the service is reorganizing. Veterans for Human Rights will meet Oct. 21 at 7 pm at the Q Center (4115 N Mississippi Ave.). Group secretary Frank Dixon says the group wants to re-form with new leadership. As for Obama’s promised revisit of the 1993 law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military, publicity director Ron Rasmussen says, “He just about has to. It would be in his interest when the next election comes.
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