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March 2nd, 2011 4:55 pm WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

A Column That Will Never Shut Down.

    Credits: chrisryanphoto.com

    As the Portland Timbers’ April 14 home opener approaches, the renovation of PGE Park is on time but about $5 million over the $31 million budget. Per the city’s contract with Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, the city will absorb $1 million of the cost overruns by forgoing rent payments at some point two decades in the future. The good news for current taxpayers and Timbers fans is that Paulson eats the balance and is spending that $4 million or so on various “fan amenities” including a bigger “Club Space” build-out, more portable concession carts, more aisles and various design features. Dave Logsdon, the city’s project manager, says the final cost is well within the expected range. “We’re not terribly surprised,” Logsdon says. (For more detail, go here).
  • A former bookkeeper for Teamsters Local 162 in Portland is suing the union, claiming her boss fired her for denying his sexual advances and, ironically enough, for trying to unionize her office. In the lawsuit filed Feb. 18 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Laurie Padden claims union Secretary-Treasurer Bob Sleight “ maintained a hostile work environment based on sex” and hit on Padden, including naming her a beneficiary to his life-insurance policy. When employees complained and discussed unionizing, the suit says Sleight eavesdropped on the office phone system. The suit seeks more than $600,000 for alleged breach of contract, wrongful discharge, invasion of privacy and sex discrimination. Sleight did not return a phone call for comment.
  • Portland Public Schools and the City of Portland have crafted a new agreement dealing with the school district’s $548 million proposed construction bond on the May ballot. If voters OK that bond, the new deal would dedicate $5 million of that money to transportation infrastructure improvements around schools. The Portland School Board approved that collaboration Monday. Portland City Council is expected to vote on the measure Wednesday, March 2. For more, go to wweek.com/school_agreement.
  • An online petition posted last weekend aims at urging the Oregon Legislature not to mess with the state’s medical-marijuana program. The petition points to pending bills that would further limit how much cannabis med-marijuana cardholders can possess, ban grow sites within 2,500 feet of schools and make it easier for law enforcement to obtain info on grow sites, among other changes.
  • Two developments for Portland Public Schools’ newest charter school. The Golden Leaf Public Charter High School, approved by the Portland School Board in November, won’t open as planned in fall 2011. Instead, the proposed Waldorf-inspired school will enroll its first students in fall 2012 after more planning, organizers say. Also, the proposed school has a new name: Bridges Public Charter High School.
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