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July 28th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

As Exclusive As Chelsea’s Wedding Guest List.

     
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  • Bad news for backers of a proposal to remake the old dog track in east Multnomah County into a casino (see “Monopoly Money,” WW, July 14, 2010). The Oregon Secretary of State’s office announced July 27 that one of the two initiatives that would clear the way for a gambling hall at the Wood Village site failed to get enough signatures to make the Nov. 2 ballot. Voters must OK both for the casino project to go forward. But hold your bets: Matt Rossman, one of the project’s two local developers, vows a court challenge to the state’s signature-validation method.

  • Medical-marijuana users will have a new option starting July 31 in Portland. Oregon NORML’s cannabis cafe, which shut down in May after five months in Northeast Portland, will reopen at 4:20 pm at 322 SE 82nd Ave. Oregon NORML Executive Director Madeline Martinez says the cafe will only serve registered Oregon medical marijuana users who are also members of Oregon NORML. Customers must pay a $5 entry fee and dues of $20 per month. While the cafe doesn’t actually sell marijuana (it does have snacks like hemp-seed smoothies), Martinez hopes it will become a gathering place for medical marijuana users and a place to host seminars and classes.

  • Portland Public Schools has partially reversed a plan to decimate its central-office support for libraries. As part of an effort to reduce spending at the district’s central office, Superintendent Carole Smith proposed to eliminate four of five positions for administrators who helped librarians and library assistants districtwide maintain their book collections and catalogs. Instead, Smith (the daughter of a librarian) is likely to add back one position in the office she created only last year.

  • The City Council on Wednesday, July 28, will take up an outside expert’s investigation into the long Portland Police investigation into the death of James Chasse Jr. If you can’t make the 6 pm hearing at City Hall, know that the report found “missed investigative issues, review issues, policy issues, training issues, systemic issues” and more. The entire report released last week by the City Auditor’s Office is online at wweek.com/chasse_report.

  • The state agency that regulates public-safety officers has stopped short of creating a formal matrix for discipline when those officers are convicted of DUII (see “Drunken Disparities,” WW, July 21, 2010). The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s board decided July 22 to continue deciding on a case-by-case basis whether to strip offending cops and prison guards of their certification or letting them keep their badge. But the board now will have a list of past cases and outcomes on hand when it decides each case. “They agreed that it was a useful tool, ” says DPSST Director Eriks Gabliks, “But it’s not a hard and fast guideline.”

  • Bummer for fans of two very different local media personalities. KPOJ radio morning co-host Christine Alexander—who recently had a bout with breast cancer—is leaving the show, saying, “Long story short—I have decided to work to live, not live to work.” And Trail Blazers TV sideline reporter Rebecca Haarlow is heading south to Los Angeles to roam the sidelines on Lakers broadcasts.

  • Amtrak’s latest ridership statistics for its Cascades line between Eugene and Vancouver, B.C., show that 15 percent more people got on and off Amtrak trains in Portland in the first six months of 2010 compared with the same time period last year. In addition to 223,325 riders at the Portland stop, the figures released last week also show ridership rising statewide—14 percent more people have ridden the rails so far this year compared with the same stretch in 2009 (284,380 most recently vs. 250,287 in 2009). Transportation officials ascribe the gains to several factors, including the addition of a second daily round-trip service from Portland to Vancouver, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and a rough economy enticing people to vacation closer to home.
 
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