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April 28th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Always Making It Work.

     
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  • As first reported April 23 at wweek.com, local and federal law-enforcement agents have put Reed College on notice that illegal drugs will not be tolerated at the elite private school (see “Higher Ed,” WW, May 14, 2008). Reed President Colin Diver emailed all students and staff that he was summoned April 22 to meet with U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton and Multnomah County DA Mike Schrunk. They pressured Diver to “shut down illegal drug use and distribution at Reed,” specifically citing the annual Renn Fayre festival. Diver’s email warned that uniformed and undercover cops will be on the Southeast Portland campus for the festival this weekend. The crackdown follows two heroin deaths by Reed students in two years.

  • Portland Public Schools’ long-awaited high-school redesign has two key pieces—converting Marshall High in Lents into a small focus-option school and re-creating popular Benson Polytechnic High in inner Northeast as a career center for 11th- and 12th-graders only. As expected, the proposal unveiled Monday by Superintendent Carole Smith has generated heat. “They’re messing with Marshall because we are the school with the least resistance,” says Tricia Pietrzyk, a Marshall mom. “These kids are being screwed again because they have less money and power.” On Tuesday, students at Benson walked out of class to protest. The teachers union is also unhappy. “Implementation is where the district seems to fall down again and again,” says Rebecca Levison, president of Portland Association of Teachers.

  • Opponents of Measures 66 and 67 predicted job losses if Oregon voters approved income tax increases in January. Those predictions are coming true at one place—Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, the PR firm that did communications for the “no” campaign. Co-founder Pat McCormick is leaving the firm after 20 years. His daughter Allison will also leave, to start a new firm. “It’s an amicable parting, but it’s time to move on,” McCormick says. In March, CFM lost one of its biggest clients, the Tillamook County Creamery Association, which got tangled in the “no” campaign when McCormick included a letter from a Tillamook co-op member claiming disaster if the measures passed. Dairy spokeswoman Heidi Luquette says its decision to drop CFM had “nothing to do” with that letter.

  • City Council is set to debate Mayor Sam Adams’ new sidewalk management plan Thursday. While many downtown businesses support it, homeless advocates are planning a sidewalk parade before the April 29 hearing to gather opponents to testify against the proposal. The sidewalk parade starts at noon at Sisters of the Road Cafe, 133 NW 6th Ave. Portland isn’t alone in creating a stir over sidewalks. Last week Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn vetoed a recent ordinance banning aggressive panhandling near parking meters or ATMs. Portland’s sidewalk plan doesn’t address aggressive panhandling, which is protected speech so long as no criminal laws are broken. IMAGE: Courtesy of Sisters of the Road

  • More bad news for the daily newspaper. In the past six months, The Oregonian’s circulation has dropped again. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the decline is almost 2 percent for its daily circulation and more than 3 percent for its Sunday paper. In 2005, The O’s Sunday circulation hovered at 400,000. Today? Sunday circulation is at 315,515, a drop of 21 percent. This decline has occurred at the same time the metro area’s population has grown by more than 6 percent.
 
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