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December 29th, 2010 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Conversation Starters For A New Year’s Party.


  • Three pieces of cop news: 1) Portland’s police union has reached a tentative contract deal with the city. As reported last week at wweek.com/draftcontract , a leaked draft of the contract shows the Portland Police Association accepting a 2 percent pay raise in exchange for major concessions on police oversight, comp time and drug testing for officers. 2) Will Aitchison, who has represented the police union through contract negotiations and a nearly unbroken string of successful arbitration battles, is leaving after 31 years. Aitchison tells WW he will still represent the union through the end of these contract negotiations. In retirement, the 59-year-old Aitchison says he’ll write a novel. (He already has two nonfiction books finished.) Lawyers Mike Tedesco and Anil Karia will replace Aitchison. 3) Police shot 34-year-old Marcus Lagozzino outside his Southwest Portland home Dec. 27, the sixth officer-involved shooting of 2010. Cops said the man, who was in critical condition, was armed with a machete and reported to be suicidal.

  • The board president for 1000 Friends of Oregon told the land-use group’s supporters in a recent letter that “a former staff member betrayed our trust and took money from our organization.” “Our financial reports were altered so even the due diligence of the Board and directors did not reveal the theft until now,” board president Charlie Swindells wrote in a letter dated Nov. 30, but mailed two weeks later. Swindells did not return WW calls seeking comment. In his letter, he didn’t identify the ex-employee nor did he disclose how much money is missing, but he did say an endowment and reserves mean the organization isn’t in financial jeopardy. Three sources say the person under investigation is Lori Meadows, a former development director at 1000 Friends. Meadows could not be reached for comment. To read more, go to wweek.com/1000Friends_theft.

  • Navin Sharma, the former Vancouver cop who was the subject of a WW cover story (see “Good Cop, Mad Cop,” July 30, 2008), died on Christmas Eve at age 54. Friends of his family report the cause was cancer. Although Sharma’s law enforcement career ended in Vancouver in 2006, his subsequent federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination and retaliation against the police department culminated in a $1.65 million settlement. “In terms of my integrity and credibility, I feel completely vindicated,” he told WW in September 2008. “That is what mattered most to me.”

  • Final push time for WW’s Give!Guide in its goal to reach $1 million in donations for 79 local nonprofits. You have already been so kind as of press time in contributing more than $763,000—about 22 percent ahead of where we were at this point last year when Give!Guide eventually topped $900,000. But please go to wweek.com/giveguide before midnight Dec. 31 and donate whatever you can toward our 2010 goal. We’ve got all kinds of cool incentives to say thanks.

  • Here’s a novel way to make some cash in 2011 if you ride the bus: OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon is seeking five to 10 TriMet bus riders to be on its advocacy team in 2011. In exchange, the community organization will pay you a $600 stipend for the 10-month term. OPAL co-director Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons says the money comes from the East Portland Action Plan, a city-funded effort that aims to improve livability in East Portland neighborhoods, and Northwest Health Foundation, which promotes healthier lifestyles among low-income and minority communities in Multnomah County. Applicants must depend on public transit and want to help TriMet improve its system, according to Santos-Lyons. Interested? Go to opalpdx.org. Applications are due Jan. 21.
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