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July 21st, 2010 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Nothing Can Cap This Weekly Spill.


IMAGE: Ben Mollica

  • Mayor Sam Adams was in Calgary, Alberta, July 17-20 for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s annual conference devoted to energy issues. Conference sponsors included oil giants such as BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips. But an Adams spokesman says Travel Portland paid the travel costs for the mayor and a staffer. The marketing organization gets most of its money from a combination of public sources like hotel taxes, parking revenue and the City of Portland’s general fund. No need for a repeat in 2011—next year’s version of the conference will be in Portland.

  • Moonlighting report: Treasurer Ted Wheeler and four other state officials are assigning price tags to ballot measures, including potential big-impact initiatives establishing a private casino and to permanently set aside 15 percent of lottery revenues for parks. A top Wheeler staffer, Michael Selvaggio, has dual roles in the process: He’s Treasury’s legislative liaison and “creative director” for Democracy Resources, which earned nearly $1.6 million for collecting signatures on both measures. Wheeler spokesman James Sinks says Selvaggio did not work on the initiatives and has disclosed potential conflicts.

  • The Portland police union’s monthly newspaper has succumbed to the same pressures hobbling other print media. High print costs have forced The Rap Sheet to kill its dead-tree edition after 41 years and go online only starting this month. “We can’t subsidize a newspaper every month. It’s a great little newspaper, but heck,” says Sgt. Doug Justus, the union’s interim secretary-treasurer. A new online feature will be restaurant reviews written by cops. First up, the Red & Black Cafe?

  • He’s ba-aaack—maybe: Combative lawyer Allan Knappenberger (see “S.O.B., Esq.,” WW, March 22, 2000) is applying for reinstatement of his Oregon State Bar license after his latest sanction—a two-year suspension in 2008, according to the bar. Knappenberger, a divorce specialist, “has been working as a contract legal assistant while suspended and intends to reestablish his law practice,” the bar reports.

  • WW has delivered a new cello to Harun Mustafa, the imprisoned 20-year-old cellist who was the subject of a recent cover story (see “A Stitch and Time,” May 12, 2010). Three generous contributions made last week’s donation possible (plus $850 from WW). First, the Oregon Department of Corrections relaxed its rules preventing Mustafa from having access to the instrument at the Columbia River Correctional Institution, where Mustafa is serving the rest of his 18-month sentence. Second, the David Kerr Violin Shop in Southeast Portland reduced the cost on a new cello, rolling case and bow from $2,000 to $1,600. And Navin Sharma, himself a former cover story subject (see “Good Cop, Mad Cop,” July 30, 2008), made a large donation. Mustafa, a recent Jefferson High School graduate, is serving time for cutting another young man in what Mustafa says was self-defense. Image courtesy of Beth Slovic

  • This week’s parking ticket excuse comes from an out-of-towner who plans to stay out of town after a frustrating turn with Portland’s electronic parking meters. At 4:55 pm Friday, Feb. 26, a 2001 Ford was cited on Northwest Couch Street between 11th and 12th avenues for “improper display [of] parking meter receipt.” Driver John Starr, of Monroe, Ore., wrote the court about the $34 ticket: “First time I have been in downtown Portland in 15 years. I paid for the parking spot as you can see. And I still get a ticket because I put it on the dashboard…IT will be another 15 years before I ever support your downtown area again.  If you were honest you would return my check. I did the honest thing and paid for the time which had not run out.”

  • The Portland Peace Memorial at the east end of the Steel Bridge on Aug. 1 will be part of a worldwide drumming event to mark the first day of an international treaty banning cluster bombs. The local rally at noon is organized by Lynn Bradach, whose 21-year-old son was killed seven years ago by an exploding U.S. cluster bomb in Iraq (see Murmurs, WW, June 2, 2010). Bradach, spokeswoman for the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines, is discouraged that the U.S. isn’t among the 107 countries that have signed the treaty. And she says the drumming event has added significance for her because her son Travis Bradach-Nall was a drummer in Grant High School’s band. “Drums celebrate things,” she says. “For me, it was like, what a perfect, perfect celebration for Travis.”
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