| OEHLKE |
IMAGE: Multnomah County
- Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke faces a $300,000 lawsuit for allegedly ldquo;dooring” a bicyclist in North Portland. According to the Oct. 4 suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, 30-year-old Jonathan DeLeonardo was cycling on North Williams Avenue on June 3 when Oehlke opened her car door into traffic in violation of state law. DeLeonardo struck Oehlke’s door, breaking his right index finger and suffering other, tissue damage the lawsuit says. “It was an accident, and I really obviously feel badly that the guy was injured,” Oehlke says. “My insurance company handled it...and I assume will be handling it going forward.”
- The reclusive medical-products tycoon Loren Parks, who has spent millions backing conservative causes in past election cycles, jumped into Oregon’s legislative fray last week by donating $375,000 to the state Senate Republican caucus. But even with Parks’ other donations over the past calendar year, he trails Sherwood winemaker Eric Lemelson, whose $466,000 total (his biggest individual recipient is Metro president candidate Bob Stacey, who’s gotten $77,000 from Lemelson) outpaces Parks’ $431,000. Oregon remains one of only six states with no limits on campaign contributions.
- More than 100 businesses along Northwest 23rd and 21st avenues submitted a petition to Mayor Sam Adams late last month. Their request? They want Adams to defer his plans for 2011 to install parking meters for visitors and require parking permits for neighborhood residents. A crummy economy continues to batter retailers in Northwest, which is also recovering from a just-ended repair project on Northwest 23rd Avenue that slowed business for five months. “Now is not the time” to disrupt the area again, reads the petition. Roy Kaufmann, a spokesman for the mayor, acknowledges timing is critical.
- Portlanders are organizing a rally in solidarity with Jon Stewart’s national “Rally to Restore Sanity.” The local version of Stewart’s Oct. 30 rally at Washington, D.C.’s, National Mall had originally been scheduled under the Morrison Bridge. But Portland organizers are seeking a new location that will hold 5,000 people. According to a Facebook event page, more than 1,000 people already plan to attend no matter the site.
- The city’s review of a federal proposal to convert a South Waterfront office building at 4310 SW Macadam Ave. into an immigration enforcement “processing center” won’t be slowed by the South Portland Neighborhood Association. The building used to be a Bank of America. And Jim Davis, land-use chairman with the neighborhood association, wrote Bureau of Development Services Director Paul Scarlett on Sept. 24 to make the case that “high-security” holding cells called for by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement proposal represent a “change of use.” That could require developers to prove the processing center won’t “pose an unreasonable safety threat.” But the bureau says most of the 108,000-square-foot space will remain offices and that the city is to hold a hearing for the proposal Thursday, Oct. 7, at 1:30 pm at 1900 SW 4th Ave.
- Hundreds of disgruntled students, faculty and workers from Portland State University are planning to gather on Thursday, Oct. 7, to cry foul over tuition that’s more than doubled since 2000 and professor salaries that, according to the American Association of Professors, are 25 percent below comparable institutions. Activists from across the country are holding similar protests Thursday as part of a national day of action for schools organized by Defend Public Education. PSU’s installment from 10 am to 2 pm on the South Park Blocks will feature sign making, speakers and music.