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November 11th, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

You Don’t Need 60 Votes To Consider This Column.

     
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SALTZMAN

  • City Commissioner Dan Saltzman has said he will announce in January whether he’ll run for a fourth term in 2010. But Murmurs has learned Saltzman has already hired Emerald Bogue to be his campaign manager. Bogue, who previously ran the campaign for Saltzman’s Children’s Investment Fund, has quit her current job as Mayor Sam Adams’ public advocate for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. She’ll supplement her campaign pay from Saltzman by also running the 2010 re-election campaign of County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, Saltzman’s former chief of staff.

  • In the wake of last week’s Republican gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey, Oregon GOP insiders are searching hard for an alternative to their current field for the party’s 2010 primary. Announced candidates include former state legislator John Lim and ex-Pixelworks CEO Allen Alley. Lim is lightly regarded; Alley may be too moderate for a primary and is politically inexperienced (as is another potential candidate—ex-Trail Blazer Chris Dudley). Thus, some Republicans are recruiting House Minority Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg), who owns a Coca-Cola distributorship. Hanna spokesman Nick Smith says his 49-year-old boss has been recruited, but right now “is committed to dismantling the Democratic majority in the House.”

  • Nearly 1,000 Portland Public Schools teachers and supporters jammed the School Board meeting Monday night to protest working without a contract for 16 months. The school district and the Portland Association of Teachers union entered state-supervised mediation in August after more than a year of unsuccessful negotiating. The district wants teachers to agree to five furlough days and a cost-of-living increase only in the first year of a new two-year contract. Teachers, who worked without pay for 10 days in 2003, say that sacrifice is too great and note a handful of administrators this year got five-figure raises. Monday’s protest was the angriest School Board demonstration in at least three years. “I don’t know any rich teachers,” one teacher told the board. “How ’bout rich School Board members?” a teacher shouted from the audience.

  • Portland Public Schools, in response to a recent WW story about the district’s efforts to get rid of old classroom supplies in a public surplus sale, is drafting new rules on how it discards materials teachers could use (see “A Screaming Deal,” WW, Oct. 28, 2009). Those rules are still in the works, and will probably include a mechanism for donating old items to Schoolhouse Supplies, a Portland nonprofit.

  • The lawsuits continue to pile up over condo projects built by bankrupt general contractor Mike Purcell (see “Back from the Grave,” WW, Aug. 26, 2009). Developers of Belmont East at 838 SE 38th Ave. filed suit Oct. 30 in Multnomah County Circuit Court against Clyde Zahn and Clyde Kaneshiro, who handled finances for Purcell’s now-defunct company, Gray Purcell. The allegations in the new suit resemble those made by other developers, with Belmont East’s developers seeking $750,000 they claim Gray Purcell diverted from the project. The suit also alleges Gray Purcell failed to file tax returns or to prepare financial statements for three years prior to 2008. Zahn declined comment, and Kaneshiro and Purcell did not return calls.

  • Oregonian Editor Sandy Rowe told staff in an email last week that a “layoff is inevitable despite our determination to avoid it.” Rowe’s email, as reported Nov. 4 on wweek.com, says the reason for the layoffs is that not enough staffers have taken the paper’s most recent buyout offer. The prospect of layoffs at the 159-year-old daily is a remarkable development at a place once renowned for its lifetime employment guarantee—a promise that seems to carry the potential for a lawsuit if one of the laid-off full-timers is feeling litigious. Meantime, the roster of staffers taking the buyout includes Pulitzer-Prize-winning editorial writer Doug Bates, arts editor Barry Johnson, Metro reporter Laura Oppenheimer and features writer Inara Verzemnieks.
 
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