- The state and federal Departments of Justice are investigating “potential contracting irregularities” at the Oregon Department of Energy. And as first reported Aug. 23 at wweek.com, at least one of the contracts in question involves 3EStrategies, a Bend company run by Cylvia Hayes, longtime girlfriend of Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Kitzhaber. Kitzhaber’s spokeswoman told WW she was unaware of the investigation; and while Hayes did not return reporters’ calls, she posted on her Facebook page that “to the best of my knowledge, neither I nor my company are under investigation.” Despite that claim, three ODOE employees have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation’s outcome. To read more, go to wweek.com/kitzhaber_contract.
- A new crack has emerged in the City of Portland’s plan for an emergency staging center west of the Willamette River. Commercial real-estate firm Macadam Forbes says a buyer has submitted a “very” competitive bid for the same 10.6-acre Northwest Industrial neighborhood site Mayor Sam Adams wants to buy for the earthquake and natural-disaster command center. Adams has been eyeing that land, owned by The Oregonian, for months, and in January the city submitted a bid of $9.3 million. But negotiations on the final sale broke down in May, after city officials revealed they didn’t know how they would pay for it. City officials were unaware Tuesday of the other land deal.
- Charles Jordan, Portland’s first African-American city commissioner, learned last month he has Alzheimer’s disease. Jordan, 72, first noticed he was experiencing memory loss while giving a speech about conservation on the Oregon Coast earlier this year. Jordan served on the City Council from 1974 to 1984 and now lives with his wife, Esther, in Jantzen Beach, where Jordan is writing his memoirs. “I knew something was wrong about three or four months ago, but I didn’t know what it was,” Jordan tells WW, adding, “I’m not afraid.”
- A judge has handed Portland police a courtroom victory over one of the city’s most prominent antiwar demonstrators. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge John Wittmayer on Aug. 19 dismissed peace activist Joe Walsh’s $250,000 lawsuit against the city. Wittmayer ruled police had probable cause to arrest Walsh for crossing a public sidewalk at a 2009 protest against the powerful national lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (see “AIPAC of Trouble,” WW, Aug. 18, 2010). Asked if Walsh plans an appeal, his attorney, Greg Kafoury, said “hell yes.”