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October 27th, 2010 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Take A Break From The Campaign Ads To Read This.


  • Borders is closing its downtown store in January. As first reported Oct. 26 at wweek.com, Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis says the 20,500-square-foot space wasn’t meeting sales objectives set by the retail giant’s Ann Arbor, Mich., headquarters. She also noted that there are five other Borders locations within a 25-mile radius. Amid years of slumping national sales and the rise of electronic books, Borders Group Inc. reported a same-store loss of 6.8 percent last quarter in its 506 stores nationwide.

  • City Commissioner Randy Leonard is reprising his role as Portland’s unofficial foreign-affairs minister. On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Leonard is set to meet with Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Rinpoche is in town to meet with local Tibetans and to speak that same day at Portland State University. Last winter, Leonard pissed off the People’s Republic of China by pushing a City Council proclamation “to reaffirm the independence of Tibet” (see “Seven Days in Tibet,” WW, March 10, 2010). The proclamation brought an angry visit from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco and veiled threats in the Chinese media to cut off broadcasts of Trail Blazers games. “Hopefully China has bigger fish to fry than who Commissioner Leonard is meeting with,” says Ty Kovatch, Leonard’s chief of staff, explaining why his boss isn’t sweating more international fallout.

  • Some late big-money donors of note in the race to represent North and Northeast Portland on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners: In the final stretch before Election Day on Nov. 2, candidate Loretta Smith has collected contributions from the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff’s Association ($7,500), the Portland Association of Teachers ($1,500) and a PAC run by her boss, Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden ($5,000). Candidate Karol Collymore also recently received $2,000 from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and $500 from her boss, county Chair Jeff Cogen. All told since the race began in March, Smith has raised $106,000, Collymore $97,000.

  • The Oregonian’s daily circulation dropped about 4 percent, according to numbers released this week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That’s about a percentage point less than the average drop for the nation’s 25 biggest dailies over the past six months. As for The O’s Sunday circulation, it dropped below the 300,000-person level, a key marker for advertisers. The slippage comes at the same time O ad-sales chief Mario Van Dongen’s announcement this week he will leave the paper by yearend. Van Dongen says he’ll return to San Diego, where he has a home.

  • One of the nation’s leading experts on institutional corruption comes to Portland to urge voters to continue publicly financed city elections. Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig will speak at noon Thursday, Oct. 28, at Portland State University’s Parsons Gallery on general campaign finance reform. Lessig will then address Portland’s system, which is up for extension on the Nov. 2 ballot, at 6:45 pm at First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 13th Ave.

  • A reminder that Portland’s version of the Rally to Restore Sanity is this Saturday at noon. Planned in conjunction with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s Washington, D.C., rally by the same name, the local gathering will be on the east side under I-5 near the Hawthorne Bridge. According to the event’s Facebook page, more than 2,200 people plan to turn out to hear speakers such as Mark Lakeman, the co-founder of the nonprofit City Repair. A 10:30 am Stephen Colbert-inspired march to Keep Fear Alive will begin at City Hall and funnel into the larger hootenanny on the east side. For info, visit portlandrally.com.
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