- Portland cycling advocates have correctly noted that building hundreds of additional miles of bike lanes over the next 20 years is cheap compared with other mega-transportation projects, such as the Columbia River Crossing. But it’s also true the city Bureau of Transportation’s previous $613 million estimate for the 2030 Bicycle Plan may underestimate the expense by a lot. A review of the Transportation Bureau’s numbers by Portland’s Office of Management and Finance puts the cost closer to $735 million.
- Police Officer Christopher Humphreys is due back to work next week after three months off on a stress claim. Humphreys is assigned to desk duty pending an internal investigation for using a beanbag gun on a 12-year-old girl who was violently resisting arrest. He was also involved in the 2006 death of James Chasse Jr. in police custody. Sgt. Scott Westerman, head of the police union, expects Humphreys to return to temporary desk duty Feb. 15 as scheduled. But Humphreys’ former spot in the cops’ transit division has already been filled, and cops there were told Humphreys will not return.
- City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the police bureau, tells WW that Chief Rosie Sizer (see “Sizer Matters,” WW, Dec. 9, 2009) has told him she plans to step down when she’s up for full retirement in July. Without naming names, Saltzman says he favors picking a new chief from inside the bureau (as was the case with Sizer and her predecessor, Derrick Foxworth) rather than hiring an outsider. IMAGE: chrisryanphoto.com
- César Chávez may get a second Portland honor beyond getting a street renamed for him. Portland Public Schools has restarted its community process for renaming Clarendon-Portsmouth K-8 School in North Portland. One of the first suggestions for the school? César Chávez.
Speaking of Chávez, Marta Guembes, the force behind renaming 39th Avenue for the labor leader, is continuing her other longtime campaign. In response to a recent state audit of Portland Public Schools’ department for teaching English as a second language (see “Why Can’t Ismail Read,” WW, Nov. 11, 2009), Guembes has filed a third civil rights complaint. The complaint, filed Jan. 25 with the feds, alleges PPS has failed to provide adequate translation services for immigrant and refugee students. It also says PPS’s attempts to mainstream English language learners have done “more harm than good.”
- State Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) has taken the relatively unusual step of blocking the re-appointments of Oregon Investment Council members Richard Solomon, a Portland accountant; and Harry Demorest, a retired forest-products executive. Boquist is unsatisfied with OIC progress on divesting state funds invested in companies active in Sudan. And Boquist asks more generally why Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants to re-up “board members who oversaw the loss of tens of billions in Oregon investments.” James Sinks, a spokesman for Treasurer Ben Westlund, says the Sudan policy is being followed “to the letter.”