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August 18th, 2010 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Ground Zero Each Week For News.

IMAGE: Paul Colvin

  • Grant High School’s popular choral director, Katy Wagner-West, has lost her job because of veteran teachers bumping more junior colleagues like her out of a job. Here’s the sequence behind last week’s complex chain reaction: Budget cuts have forced Portland Public Schools to leave vacant positions unfilled in the upcoming school year and lay off some teachers. Principals at several schools have responded to the cutbacks by giving up their music teachers. One of those teachers with more seniority will go to Grant and replace Wagner-West. A new Facebook campaign aims to save Wagner-West’s job.

  • Mallori Weaver, Ward Weaver’s daughter, faces charges for allegedly attacking a security guard at Providence Medical Center. Court records and police reports allege Mallori Weaver and her stepdad, Daniel Shaw, scuffled July 21 with security and a nurse while trying to remove Mallori’s mother, Maria Shaw, from the hospital. Mallori Weaver, 21, pleaded not guilty to attempted assault and other charges and has a trial set for Aug. 26. She was 12 years old in 2002 when Ward Weaver killed two of her friends. He is now serving two life terms.

  • TriMet’s riders are growing restless as the agency prepares to raise fares by a nickel and make some service cuts Sept. 1. That same day at 4 pm, Organizing People Activating Leaders, will protest outside City Hall. TriMet, which last week decided to seek voter approval of a $125 million bond, also faces another protest. The Transit Riders Union plans to picket on Aug. 31 at 11 am outside of TriMet board president Rick Van Beveren’s Reedville Cafe in Hillsboro to spotlight his votes. “They’re free to express their views,” Van Beveren says. “It’s unfortunate they made this personal.

  • Losing the Democratic gubernatorial primary in May turned out OK for former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. Gov. Ted Kulongoski, whose annual salary is $93,600, is expected to appoint Bradbury to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, a four-state agency dealing with regional power, fish and wildlife. The appointment is one of the state’s juiciest sinecures. The four-year term, which requires confirmation from the state Senate, would mean a salary for Bradbury—who lost the primary to ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber—of $107,000 a year, plus health benefits.

  • If ideas were cash, Portlander Rob Nelson would already have financed a new, smaller stadium for a Single-A baseball team in June, July and August. Nelson pitched for the Single-A Portland Mavericks in the 1970s. And with “Ball Four” author and major leaguer-turned-Maverick Jim Bouton, Nelson came up with Big League Chew shredded bubble gum. Now, Nelson is trying to get anybody’s support at City Hall for a 4,000-seat stadium. With the Triple-A Beavers vanishing in 2011 from PGE Park, here’s Nelson’s pitch: A smaller Stumptown Grounds or Tom McCall Park would require less space for the Homers (named after honorary Portlander Homer Simpson).

  • There’s a new political party hoping to sail into Oregon’s electoral waters. As first reported Aug. 13 on wweek.com, the Oregon Pirate Party (at arregon.org, naturally) has filed paperwork with the state to get 20,963 signatures from registered voters to establish itself as a new party. The Pirates’ Facebook group had 153 members as of press time Aug. 17. The party’s self-described “acting admiral” is Jorden Leonard, a longtime member of the Green Party. “The name is silly, we understand that,” Leonard said of the Pirates. “We definitely take full advantage of the silliness to promote very relevant issues.” He and his fellow buccaneers are focused on technology reforms such as reducing the amount of time that patents and trademarks gets copyright protection.
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