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March 3rd, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Even Jim Bunning Can’t Block This News.

     
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  • Grant High School’s student newspaper reports that principal Joseph Malone, who is retiring at the end of this school year, wants every Grant student at school dances to take a breathalyzer test. “I would like for it to be probable,” Malone told the Grantonian’s Ally Bray. If that happens, Grant will be Portland Public Schools’ first high school to perform drug testing at dances. Students’ reaction? “Everyone was pretty taken aback by the idea, but a lot of them were pretty dubious that anything would happen,” says Bray, a junior.

  • Big weekend coming up for gubernatorial candidates: The Oregon Education Association and SEIU will make key endorsements in the Democratic primary between John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury (see “Love of Labor,” WW, Feb. 24, 2010). And Republicans Allen Alley and Chris Dudley will debate each other at the GOP’s Dorchester gathering in Seaside. On the money front, Dudley continues to outpace the field. In 2010, he’s raised $467,000, more than Kitzhaber ($215,000), Bradbury ($117,000) and Alley ($68,000) combined.

  • Church groups that serve hot meals to the homeless under the west end of the Morrison and Burnside bridges are expecting new assurances they can continue their volunteer work. On Wednesday, March 3, representatives of the Downtown Portland and Old Town/Chinatown neighborhoods are supposed to sign new good-neighbor agreements that will let volunteers serve meals on Thursday and Sunday nights at the two locations. Last year, the Portland Development Commission displaced the church groups from their traditional spot under the Burnside Bridge to continue adjacent construction projects for Mercy Corps and the University of Oregon. “I’m really pleased with how this has worked,” says Marshall Snider of Bridgetown Ministries, one of the faith-based groups doing the work.

  • Some names and numbers worth noting from last week’s first-ever layoffs at The Oregonian. Among the 37 laid-off staffers whose names would be recognized by readers: columnists Margie Boulé and Andy Parker, as well as food writer Karen Brooks, transportation reporter Dylan Rivera, investigations reporter Susan Goldsmith, immigration reporter Gosia Wozniacka, obituary features writer Joan Harvey, and Homes Gardens writer Ruth Mullen. Numbers to remember: The cuts work out to about 5 percent of the daily’s 750 employees. And the average age of the laid-off newsroom employees: 54.

  • A second Oregonian-related item: Wade Nkrumah, one of the 50-plus staffers who took a two-year buyout in 2008, follows the path of fellow O buyout taker Erin Hoover Barnett by finding work at Portland Public Schools’ communications office. He now has a grant-funded $18,000 contract to write for an online quarterly newsletter, PPS Extra Credit! Nkrumah worked as Mayor Sam Adams’ spokesman before quitting less than a month into the job on Jan. 27, 2009, amid Adams’ sex-and-lies scandal. Last May, Nkrumah announced plans to sue the City of Portland because Adams allegedly “damaged his business reputation” when the mayor told KATU Nkrumah resigned because the job was “not what he signed up for in terms of stress.”
 
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