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June 9th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs

     
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  • Marijuana advocate Paul Stanford now says the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act has a “snowball’s chance in hell” to get on the November ballot. Initiative 73 needs 82,769 valid signatures from Oregon voters by July 2, but Stanford says the pot legalization initiative so far has gathered only 6,000. “Unless some army of people come out of the woodwork and start working full time, it’s not going to happen,” he says. Stanford says several supporters have not come through with their pledges and that he’s now focused on bringing the idea back in 2012.
  • Documents filed in Marion County Court on June 4 limited the subjects about which initiative activist Bill Sizemore and his wife, Cindy, can talk. That’s because Cindy is considering testifying against her husband of 20 years in a criminal tax evasion case that began last year. SIzemore remains confident. “It’s my understanding she has not accepted any deal,” he says. To read more, go to wweek.com/sizemore_testify.

  • Mayor Sam Adams has interviewed former Assistant Police Chief Dorothy Elmore to be his liaison to the Police Bureau. The mayor took the bureau from Commissioner Dan Saltzman last month (see “Cop Out,” WW, May 19, 2010), and Elmore would be a controversial choice as his liaison. In 1997, her then-husband, Officer Vince Elmore, took out a restraining order on her, alleging she had slashed the tires on their car and threatened to kill him. He later lifted the order so Elmore could keep her job. Adams’ chief of staff, Tom Miller, declined to comment on a personnel issue, and Elmore didn’t return WW’s phone call.

  • John DiLorenzo is getting serious about an independent run for governor. One of Oregon’s leading business lobbyists, the Davis Wright Tremaine lawyer is pushing for a sales-tax funded universal healthcare program. On June 8, DiLorenzo reported loaning $150,000 to his exploratory committee and says he’ll decide in the next two weeks whether he can be more than a spoiler. “Ballot access is not a problem,” DiLorenzo says. “And I can raise a significant amount of money.”

  • The latest twist in Portland Public Schools’ proposed high-school redesign? Trudy Sargent, Pam Knowles and Bobbie Regan, three of the school board’s seven members, now oppose Superintendent Carole Smith’s proposed redesign. They want to close Jefferson High School as a neighborhood school and make it a focus school open to any student in the district. The board was supposed to vote on the entire redesign on June 21. For more on the Marshall High School piece of the redesign, go here.

  • How clueless about Oregon is Forbes, and how diligent is the magazine in correcting its errors? Forbes’ Stephane Fitch wrote in a Forbes.com story in February on mortgage defaults that Corvallis is (wait for it) three hours farther east of Portland than is Bend. Despite huge exposure of Fitch’s piece, including top billing on Yahoo! News in March—and repeated efforts to contact Forbes for correction by media researcher Mark Powell of Arlington, Va., who reported this to us and wrote this Murmur—the error remains unchanged at www.forbes.com/2010/02/26/real-estate-advisor-personal-finance-housing-defaults.html.

  • Oregon’s minor parties won a big victory in 2009 with legislation letting candidates list nominations of up to three parties on the ballot. But state Elections Director Steve Trout is saying those party names will be shortened to three-letter abbreviations because of software problems in Lane County. In letters to Trout, minor party officials expressed strong objections to his May 26 decision. “Abbreviation will significantly dilute the effect of minor party cross-nominations,” wrote Barbara Dudley, chair of the Working Families Party. “And likely will lead to voter confusion.”

  • CORRECTION: Last week’s Murmurs column incorrectly stated Sen. Peter Courtney’s position. He is Senate president.
 
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