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October 21st, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

News That Soars Even Without A Balloon.

     
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AVEL GORDLY: Recall!

  • The chief petitioner and spokeswoman for the second attempt to recall Mayor Sam Adams will be former State Sen. Avel Gordly, who retired from the Legislature last year after 17 years representing North and Northeast Portland. Gordly, who now teaches at PSU, agreed to the positions Tuesday afternoon. “A cloud remains over our city,” Gordly says. “Voters should have an opportunity to decide whether the mayor remains in office.”

  • The glow must go on, says Commissioner Randy Leonard, who told Murmurs on Monday he would find a new way to bring the “Made in Oregon” sign under city control. His vow comes six months after failing to wrest control of the sign from the University of Oregon by condemning the iconic space. The U of O, which had a lease on the sign, had ruffled non-Duck feathers by trying to change it to market its brand in Portland. The latest Leonard announcement also follows the university’s decision last month to give up its lease—and the owner’s decision last week to turn off electricity to the sign. Leonard says his plan won’t necessarily require the city to buy the sign; instead, he says, “benevolent” forces could come together to donate the sign to Portland.

  • Teething pains at the state Department of Justice under new AG John Kroger? An “attorney morale survey” of about 130 DOJ lawyers found only 12 percent rated Kroger’s executive team “very good” or “excellent.” A summary (available at wweek.com) says “comments overwhelmingly described low morale.” Kroger spokesman Tony Green was not immediately available for comment.

  • More bad financial news for Portland Public Schools. It could be taking money from the classroom next year to pay its retirees. Here’s why: Last week, state officials released a report on the PPS account that lets the district offset its employee-benefit payments. What’s called the PERS side account lost $203 million in value last year, according to the state. Whether that loss—about the same as overall stock market declines—will require the district to tap its operating budget depends on how state officials set the PERS rate next summer. Superintendent Carole Smith says PPS isn’t alone facing this dilemma. “Over the long haul, it’s going to be a significant issue,” Smith says. “It’s bigger than PPS.”

  • Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer is the target of a new complaint to the city’s Independent Police Review Division. As first reported on wweek.com, last week’s story about Central Precinct Capt. Mark Kruger’s interest in Nazi history (see “The Ice Man Weepeth”) prompted Sizer to email the entire police bureau defending Kruger and questioning Kruger’s primary accuser, Robert Seaver. In a complaint filed Oct. 19 with IPR, Seaver alleges Sizer lied about him in the email, violating state law’s requirement for police “moral fitness.” Sizer did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

  • The powerful Portland police union’s executive board was hit with its second high-level resignation this year when Central Precinct Officer Daryl Turner left the 13-member board this month. Turner, who was on the union team to negotiate a new contract with the city, declined comment on his departure. Sgt. Scott Westerman, president of the union, wouldn’t comment on Turner’s exit either. Westerman denied nagging rumors that the union doesn’t plan to seek a substantial pay raise when negotiations start next year. Union Treasurer Mitch Copp was the first to leave the union board this year, resigning in April amid controversy over keeping the union’s longtime attorney, Will Aitchison.

  • Portland lawyer John F. Bradach is spreading the news of his sister Lynn Bradach’s appointment as a spokeswoman for the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines. Lynn Bradach is the mother of Marine Cpl. Travis Bradach-Nall, who was killed in Iraq by an American cluster bomb in 2003. And Lynn Bradach wants to persuade the Obama administration to add the U.S. to the 156-country list of signatories to an international treaty that bans the use of landmines and cluster bombs. To help, go to banminesusa.org.
 
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