- A tough week for The Oregonian on two fronts. Police arrested Bob Caldwell, editor of the paper’s editorial page, shortly after midnight May 20 on a drunken-driving charge downtown. The police report said Caldwell, who declined comment to WW, failed three sobriety tests and registered a 0.10 percent blood alcohol content (Oregon’s limit is 0.08 percent) after having what he said were two drinks over dinner. To read more, go to wweek.com/caldwell. Also last week, the paper fired veteran reporter Lisa Grace Lednicer, saying she failed to get clearance from The O’s editors before co-writing a freelance piece for Glamour magazine about the daughter of child-killer Diane Downs, one of Oregon’s most notorious criminals. To read more, go to wweek.com/lednicer.
- The competition to manage the City of Portland’s $10 million annual SmartPark garage contract is over, according to a letter city officials sent last week to City Center Parking and Star Park. City Center held the garage contract from 1985 until 2003. Star Park has had it since. Both local companies unsuccessfully protested the city’s April 28 decision (“Lots of Discontent,” WW, May 12, 2010) to award a three-year contract starting July 1 to Nashville-based Central Parking System. Star Park’s Barry Schlesinger says he may seek reconsideration. City Center’s Greg Goodman also sent a second letter to city commissioners decrying “inconsistent evaluation.”
- The Lents Neighborhood Association wants the David Douglas School District to absorb Marshall High School from Portland Public Schools. The association says that would both give rapidly growing David Douglas a second high school in Southeast Portland and save Marshall from PPS’s proposed downsizing in its high-school redesign. Association President Nick Christensen says “the idea has been well received by all those we’ve talked to.” PPS is holding a community meeting at Marshall on Thursday, May 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
- Portland Public Schools placed Jefferson High School principal Cynthia Harris and business manager Reis Wilbanks on administrative leave last week after an audit. As first reported on wweek.com, PPS auditor Amoy Williamson wrote that the audit “revealed a lack of internal controls over the operation of the Student Body Funds and an inconsistent tone at the top which resulted in an override of established policies and procedures without written justification.” Wilbanks expressed puzzlement at her suspension while Harris’ attorney, Glen McClendon, says Harris “adamantly denies any wrongdoing.” For more, see wweek.com/jefferson_audit. Image courtesy of Portland Public Schools.
- Residents of the Sunnyside neighborhood are blasting Clearwire’s plans to install a 94-foot steel pole with microwave antennas on Southeast 29th Avenue and Yamhill Street. At an April 12 neighborhood meeting, residents alleged the company’s consultant “was completely unprepared” to answer noise and health questions. The neighborhood association invited Clearwire to a second meeting May 10, but no one showed. David Soloos, deputy director of the Office of Cable Communications & Franchise Management, has asked Clearwire to schedule another meeting.