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August 11th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

A Weekly Lemonade Stand Of Tart News.

     
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  • A bit of dispiriting news for Democrats heading into a tough November election. Statewide voter-registration data from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office shows the Democratic Party losing 43,002 voters between June 2009 and June 2010—a loss of 4.7 percent. Republicans meanwhile lost 19,299 registered voters between June 2009 and June 2010—a 2.8 percent decline. Both parties went on big registration drives for the 2008 election, and some of the losses can be ascribed to voters changing registrations, perhaps to the Independent Party, which picked up more than 10,000 registered voters in the past year. Democrats still enjoy a statewide registration edge of more than 200,000 people over Republicans.

  • The first flush of Commissioner Randy Leonard’s second loo will draw potty enthusiasts to Southwest Taylor Street and Naito Parkway at 12:30 pm Wednesday, Aug. 11. The new public toilet downtown, like the prototype that sprung up on Northwest 5th Avenue and Glisan Street in December 2008, will be open 24/7. A third $58,000 loo—in the Pearl—is expected to open in the coming months following contentious neighborhood talks about whether the toilets would draw unwanted elements to the ritzy district. “Carol McCreary, co-founder of Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human, applauds the addition, calling it “an elegant piece of street furniture.

  • Split decisions: Faced with a $19 million budget hole for the upcoming school year, Portland Public Schools has eliminated about 60 teaching positions for general education. But Superintendent Carole Smith has left it up to high-school principals to decide on another budget savings—whether to keep their business managers. Four of PPS’s 10 main high schools had full- or part-time business managers at a total cost of $345,000 a year for non-educators who help principals manage their schools’ finances. Jefferson High’s business manager, who was put on paid administrative leave in May after an audit raised red flags, won’t return to the school next year. Neither will the business manager at Lincoln. Franklin and Wilson, however, will keep their business managers.

  • Opponents of the initiative to create a statewide system of medical marijuana dispensaries have an intriguing ally. Opposing Measure 74 on the ballot this November is Stormy Ray, one of the original petitioners back in 1998 for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Ray, who uses medical marijuana for her multiple sclerosis, claims that Measure 74 is “little more than a smokescreen” masking a goal of total marijuana legalization for all Oregon adults. Ray, a longtime opponent of expanding medical marijuana law, says California’s dispensaries system has been a disaster. “It’s horrendously horrible, ” she says. “We don’t want that in Oregon.”

  • Traffic alert for a big chunk of Southeast Portland this Sunday, Aug. 15. From 10 am to 3 pm, the city-organized Sunday Parkways will limit streets to bikes and pedestrians on a six-mile stretch that connects Laurelhurst, Colonel Summers and Sunnyside School parks. For more information on the route, go to PortlandSundayParkways.org.
 
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