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October 13th, 2010 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

The First Thing A Chilean Miner Should Read.


  • Teachers beware! Portland Public Schools has hired a private investigator for up to eight months of work starting Nov. 1. According to the $35,000 PPS contract, investigator Susan Nesbit is to put unidentified employees, schools and district departments under the microscope. The school district has turned to private investigators during employment disputes before. The contract with Nesbit, a former investigator for Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, lets PPS supplement the state commission, which also has three investigators. As of November, TSPC will have completed reviews of complaints against teachers only through 2008.

  • The City of Portland is investigating a scuffle between two employees at the Water Bureau’s water-quality lab in North Portland. According to a police report, lab employee Tamara Palmer claims her manager, Alberta “Bert” Seierstad, assaulted her Sept. 21 by allegedly twisting her arm and shoving her into a counter. The struggle allegedly occurred as Seierstad was trying to photocopy a grievance Palmer had filed. The police report does not say what the grievance alleged. Water Bureau Director David Shaff says Palmer is on medical leave and Seierstad remains at work. “We’re going to be taking action with both of our employees,” Shaff says.

  • A bit of history has cropped up in the closely contested Metro Council president’s race: Carol MacBeth, a former Bend-based 1000 Friends of Oregon employee, filed a Bureau of Labor and Industries complaint last month against 1000 Friends. MacBeth blasted her former boss, Bob Stacey, saying a performance review found him to be an “extremely poor manager.” Stacey, who left 1000 Friends last year and is competing against former Hillsboro mayor Tom Hughes for the Metro post, says, “The allegations about me are false.” 

  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley has blasted Democratic opponent John Kitzhaber for accepting a sweetheart loan from supporter Jerry Bidwell in 1999 and then appointing Bidwell to a plum state post. Turns out, however, that Dudley’s associations are not all untainted. The Oregonian reported last week that Dudley invested in 2007 with four local men in a Los Angeles condo development. One of the men, Eli Morgan, paid more than $200,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998 to settle insider-trading charges relating to Enron’s takeover of Portland General Electric. Morgan bought PGE stock based on a tip improperly given to him by then-PGE director Peter Brix, who paid $109,000 to also settle insider-trading charges. Brix has contributed $22,500 to Dudley’s campaign; Morgan, $2,000.  “Chris Dudley was one of many passive investors in the Gerding Edlen project,” said Dudley spokesman Jake Suski. “He didn’t structure the loan and GED raised the investors. Peter Brix is one of over 12,000 donors to Chris Dudley’s campaign and has contributed to many candidates, including Ron Wyden. Chris has absolutely nothing to do with the PGE merger more than ten years ago.”

  • Oregonian publisher N. Christian Anderson III had heart-valve replacement surgery Oct. 3 and is recovering at home. The 60-year-old Anderson, a former publisher and CEO of The Orange County (Calif). Register who came to The O in October 2009, is said to be recovering well, but there is no date yet for his return to work.

  • The suicide last month of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi gave a special poignancy to National Coming Out Day this week for LGBT students at Portland State University. Clementi, whose roommate broadcast his sexual encounter with another man on the Internet, was one of four gay teenagers nationwide to take his life in September as a result of anti-gay bullying, according to CBS News. At PSU, the Queer Resource Center on Monday, Oct. 11, launched two weeks of Coming Out activities to encourage LGBT students to come out of the closet. The resource center posted an “Out List” on campus that includes 300 names of LGBT students and allies and is hosting other activities this week that include Q Patrol training Oct. 14. For more details, go to qrc.pdx.edu/.
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