IMAGE: Mike Perrault
- Bad news for animal researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center: The federal government has denied their request for $14.8 million in stimulus money for a new building at the center’s Hillsboro facility. But a spokesman for Oregon Health & Science University, which runs the primate center, says the school received $4 million to build “improved outdoor sheltered group housing” for some of the center’s 4,000 monkeys. Matt Rossell of In Defense of Animals, which lobbied against the funding, says he hopes the feds’ decision is a “good sign” they are listening.
- Oregon Solicitor General Jerry Lidz, who was Attorney GeneralJohn Kroger’s top appellate lawyer, resigned last week. As first reported on wweek.com, Lidz’s resignation comes on the heels of departures by two other top Kroger lieutenants, environmental lawyer Brent Foster and elections law specialist Margaret Olney. Lidz told colleagues in an email (wweek.com/lidz_resignation) that he was unhappy with the state Justice Department’s role in the demotion of his wife, former University of Oregon general counsel Melinda Grier, over the lack of a contract for ex-athletic director Mike Bellotti.
- If City Commissioner Dan Saltzman challenges Mayor Sam Adams in 2012, we know where he can start fundraising: his own wallet. In forms filed last month with the state, Saltzman reported $790,000 in partnership income from a dizzying array of real estate investments. Meanwhile Blue Oregon welcomed back Saltzman’s erstwhile primary opponent, Jesse Cornett, who blogged last week about legislative redistricting. Little wonder: Cornett reported paying Blue Oregon founder Kari Chisholm’s company Mandate Media $16,700 for the primary. That’s about 20 percent of the total that candidates reported paying Mandate since Nov. 1. And it makes Cornett Mandate’s second-largest candidate customer in that time. He trails only ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has reported paying the firm $18,000 in his comeback bid.
- The $577 million state budget shortfall revealed last week provides ammo to both sides of a November ballot measure that would amend the Oregon Constitution to enact annual legislative sessions. Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) says it would be “premature” for the Legislature to meet: “Special sessions should be used sparingly and effectively.” But Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) says Democrats are abrogating their main constitutional duty—to balance the budget—to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who is imposing 9 percent across-the-board cuts. Says Ferrioli: “Peter has the ability to thunder out of both sides of his mouth.”
- Lynn Bradach, whose son, Marine Cpl. Travis Bradach-Nall, 21, was killed seven years ago while disarming a U.S. cluster bomb in Iraq, will travel to Chile for a June 7-9 conference on the international treaty banning cluster bombs. A spokeswoman for the U.S. campaign to Ban Landmines, she is organizing a “Travis Drums” weapons-awareness event in Portland in August. It has special significance because Travis played drums in Grant High School’s band. The U.S. is the only major Western country that has not signed the treaty banning land mines and cluster bombs. Photo courtesy of blog.banadvocates.org.