- Mayor Sam Adams made education a key component of his third annual State of the City
address Friday, Feb. 18. He also wants to make schools a part of his
upcoming 2011-12 City of Portland budget. In addition to another $500,000 for the mayor’s scholarship program at Portland Community College, Adams wants to give $250,000 to the Portland Schools Foundation,
the private organization that’s been given the task of implementing
Adams’ “cradle-to-career” strategy, a countywide initiative to align
different educational groups around a common set of goals for schools.
- Speaking of Portland’s upcoming budget, other city commissioners also have submitted their new spending requests. Commissioner Dan Saltzman, for example, wants $117,000 to perform a feasibility study for a new one-stop center for youth in foster care. Commissioner Randy Leonard wants 325,000 to make and install four additional Portland Loos; 20,000 to provide toilets for the elderly, disabled and families with young children at the Portland Rose Festival; and 25,000 to support the day labor center that opened in 2007 on the inner east side.
- The Portland City Council is set to vote Feb. 23 on paying $25,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit by a Northeast Portland man who says police unlawfully searched his home. Gregory Benton claims cops responding to a report of a shooting in September 2006 insisted on entering his apartment at Northeast 15th Avenue and Killingsworth Street. Benton, who is African-American, feared police would shoot him and initially denied them entry, says his attorney, Benjamin Haile. Haile says police searched 10 apartments, including his client’s, but never found a shooter. “How many homes are too many to search when you’re responding to an anonymous call?” Haile asks.
- Members of the Portland Police Association have nominated three very different cops to run for leadership in the 900-member union. Sgt. Tom Perkins and Officer John Grable are running for secretary-treasurer, the union’s No. 2 job. Cops say Perkins is known for his mellow attitude and is not particularly confrontational toward bureau management. Grable, however, has penned diatribes against management in the union bulletin and is known for suggesting officers disobey contentious orders. Sgt. Jeff Niiya was the only nominee for an empty seat on the executive board after Sgt. Doug Justus retired last month (see “Missing Justus,” WW, Feb. 16, 2011). Niiya is known as one of the smartest cops on the force, but officers say he’s also not afraid to butt heads with management when it’s warranted.
- Ex-state Rep. Chuck Riley has one more campaign in him. The 71-year-old Hillsboro Democrat filed last week to run this May for a seat on the Portland Community College board representing a district that includes Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove and other parts of Washington County. Riley, who lost a state Senate race last November after three terms in the Oregon House, says he wants to put his legislative experience to use for PCC. There are no other candidates yet for the seat now held by Deanna Palm, who was appointed in 2009.