- Eleven days. If the Portland School Board votes Monday, June 21, to close Jefferson High School as a neighborhood school, that’s how long the public will have had to consider the proposal the board inserted on June 10 into Superintendent Carole Smith’s proposed redesign of all high schools. Jefferson supporters hope to block Jefferson’s conversion into a focus school, which would keep the school small and reassign neighborhood kids to other schools. “The Jefferson community was promised transparency and told repeatedly Jefferson High School would not close,” reads a flier for a protest at the School Board’s June 16 meeting. “Now they say NO to a comprehensive Jefferson High School and instead will vote for a focus school plan which has little community support and even less community input.”
- Two unhappy Portland parking companies have managed to delay the city’s award of a $10-million-a year garage-management contract to Nashville-based Central Parking System. City Center Parking is Portland’s largest parking firm. And Star Park currently holds the city’s garage contract. Both continue to object to terms in the contract with Central Parking. A council hearing on the contract got pushed back from June 16 to June 30 as the city attorney’s office evaluates concerns. “We are eager to move forward,” says Cheryl Kuck of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, which oversees the garages. “But the city attorney needs to brief all commissioners first.”
- To track down a lawyer under investigation, the Oregon State Bar took what one lawyer calls the unusual step of serving him papers in the Multnomah County Courthouse. Nearly two years after the bar began probing allegations that prominent Portland defense lawyer Gary Bertoni committed the potentially career-ending transgression of taking money out of his client trust account (see “A Matter of Trust,” WW, Nov. 26, 2008), a source says Bertoni finally sat down for an interview earlier this month—after the bar hunted Bertoni down in the courthouse to serve his subpoena. Bertoni did not respond to email and phone messages seeking comment.
- With Portland voters deciding this November whether to continue public financing of city candidates, the U.S. Supreme Court has muddied the picture. Ruling on an Arizona case, the Supremes last week blocked candidates from receiving matching funds to equalize the spending of a privately financed candidate. Janice Thompson of Common Cause Oregon says she’s disappointed by the ruling but says it stops short of negating the basic principle of public financing. “It does not invalidate Portland’s system,” Thompson says. “But every law needs to be monitored and updated and when the dust settles there might need to be changes.”
- Contest Alert: The Portland Timbers have unveiled their new logo for the team’s inaugural season next year in Major League Soccer. We now want you to finish this sentence: “This logo….” Go online to the comments section of Murmurs at wweek.com and submit your response. The best one will win a $50 gift certificate to the Daily Cafe.