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June 23rd, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

More Pointed Than McChrystal.

     
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  • Robert Caldwell, editorial-page editor at The Oregonian, has pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge and been sentenced to a diversion program. After backing his pickup last month into another car downtown, a Breathalyzer test revealed Caldwell had a 0.10 percent blood-alcohol content (the legal limit is 0.08). The O still hasn’t reported on Caldwell’s May 20 arrest or June 8 guilty plea. But Associate Editor Susan Nielsen has written a column for Caldwell’s pages critical of how the state treats DUII offenders. And The O notes that a ballot measure stiffening sentences for drunken drivers will likely make it to the November ballot. Should make for an interesting endorsement opinion this fall. To read more, go to wweek.com/Caldwell_DUII.

  • Local goldsmiths working for Fred Meyer Jewelers fear for their business after Freddy’s parent company changes its pricing system. Retailers at Kroger’s stores nationwide plan to set rates for their goldsmiths instead of letting them quote their own prices to account for regional differences in cost of living and materials. Three goldsmiths, who are independent contractors, told Murmurs they will lose money under the new system, which was implemented in May on a trial basis. “It looks like anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent below what our prices are right now,” says one goldsmith, speaking anonymously for fear of losing business. Kroger didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

  • The election to head the powerful Portland police union will go to a runoff between Central Precinct Officer Daryl Turner and Drugs and Vice Sgt. Doug Justus. Turner received 44 percent of the vote tallied last week for president and Justus got 39 percent. The election follows the resignation of ex-union prez Sgt. Scott Westerman, who stepped down in April under investigation for two road-rage incidents. For more, go to wweek.com/union_ballots.

  • Homer Williams, developer in Portland’s Pearl and River districts,has been hired by the city of Lake Oswego to devise a development plan for a 30-acre parcel called the Foothills District. The Lake Oswego official who decided that hire? Brant Williams. He’s no relation to Homer but he did head Portland’s Bureau of Transportation during the go-go years for the Pearl and the start of Williams’ South Waterfront projects. In 2005, then-Mayor Tom Potter fired Brant Williams, who had overseen the early stages of OHSU’s infamously over-budget tram. But Brant Williams landed a job in LO as the city’s economic director. As for development of the Foothills parcel, a key will be extending a streetcar line from Portland via Riverdale, an idea already generating significant opposition.

  • And the winner of last week’s contest to finish the sentence “This logo...” is “Andy from Beaverton.” He completed the sentence about the Timbers’ new emblem by writing “…blows like a vuvuzela.” He beat out more than 40 other entries at wweek.com to win a $50 gift certificate to the Daily Cafe.

  • Ticket to slide: As promised last week (see “Plea Market”), WW will semi-regularly print some of the excuses Portlanders write the court in hopes of wiggling out of their parking tickets. At 12:03 pm on Thursday, Feb. 25, at Southwest Washington Street between 10th and 11th avenues, a 2004 Infiniti G35 coupe was cited $34 for an overtime meter. Driver Harry Howard of Portland wrote to the judge that he was late coming from a dental cleaning and went on to write, “In fit of pique, Martha threw the shriveled Christmas pudding to Togo her St. Bernard puppy. After a few days she could see the funny side, and Togo loved his new indestructible toy, which amused him until the next Christmas.  Obviously, the time it took to tell this story was detrimental to my time requirements to make a prompt get-a-way. Such is the ‘explanation.’ Have a great day!”
 
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