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November 17th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Don’t Touch Our Junk.

     
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  • A busy Tuesday at the Police Bureau. Portland Police Officer Ronald Frashour was fired for his fatal shooting of 25-year-old Aaron Campbell on Jan. 29. Chief Mike Reese and Mayor Sam Adams on Nov. 16 also announced 80-hour unpaid suspensions for three other cops involved in the Campbell shooting. For more, go to wweek.com/officer_terminated. Hours after that announcement, Reese released details of discipline in another case. Capt. Mark Kruger, who honored German soldiers from the Nazi era with plaques on Rocky Butte, got an 80-hour unpaid suspension. Kruger also released his own apology. For more, go to wweek.com/kruger_suspended.

  • Mayor Sam Adams is scheduled to meet with Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith this Thursday, Nov. 18, to discuss what role the school district’s headquarters may play in the Rose Quarter’s future. The 500,000-square-foot building just north of the Rose Garden and Memorial Coliseum represents one piece of Adams’ plan to expand the Rose Quarter and to create more daytime uses in the area. If an attractive offer came along, PPS would consider moving its headquarters. But what might replace the building remains unclear. Both Adams and a PPS representative deny one rumor about how Adams’ plans might take shape. “I am not promoting Target,” Adams tells Murmurs of his Rose Quarter plans.

  • More bad news for the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network. In 2009, lawmakers approved partial funding of $260 million to knit together the state’s public-safety radio networks. But a scathing Nov. 3 audit was just the latest finding that OWIN is a disaster. The audit (available at wweek.com) found “serious implementation problems,” “control deficiencies” and “no sound methodological basis” for claimed savings. “We have put together a plan to move forward on time and on budget,” says OWIN spokesman Don Hamilton.

  • Washington County Court Judge Marco Hernandez and Perkins Coie Lawyer Michael Simon are in Washington, D.C., for a Nov. 17 Senate hearing on their nominations to fill two longtime federal judgeship vacancies in the U.S. District Court of Oregon. President Obama nominated the pair to replace Judge Garr King, who announced his retirement more than three years ago, and Judge Ancer Haggerty, who retired in August 2009. Hernandez was the earlier choice to replace King under President George W. Bush, but his nomination languished until he again won a nod under the new administration.

  • An anonymous complaint was filed last week against Tigard High School principal Mark Neffendorf with Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission over videos shown at a Nov. 5 school assembly in honor of Veterans Day. One video, a war montage set to country singer Jo Dee Messina’s “Heaven Was Needing a Hero,” ended with a 10-second frame of Jesus hugging a young man. Tigard School District spokeswoman Susan Stark Haydon says the district got two email complaints from staff alleging the video violated separation of church and state, and that other staff members brought up concerns in a meeting last week. The state commission is investigating the complaint filed Nov. 9.

  • A rally planned to protest a scheduled Portland visit by Condoleezza Rice drew fewer than 15 demonstrators on Saturday after the former Secretary of State canceled her appearance at the last minute. Rice was among six authors scheduled by the National Kidney Foundation for a fundraiser at the downtown Hilton. “If they try and invite anyone like Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, there’s going to be a big problem,” said local activist Joe Walsh, who organized the 40-minute demonstration anyway on Nov. 13. Officials with the Kidney Foundation say they chose Rice and other authors to provide an “interesting mix of speakers” and that Rice was “very apologetic” when she canceled due to exhaustion after a five-week book tour.
 
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