The City of Portland will include steroids on the list of substances it looks for when random drug tests begin in July for cops. As first reported April 8 at wweek.com, city Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard says the city has located a lab in Northern California that processes steroid tests for about $130 each, down from about $250 elsewhere. A new labor contract with police approved in February includes random drug tests for the first time, and police oversight advocates worried the city wouldnât test for steroids because it was struggling to find a lab it could afford. The contract lets the city run 660 drug tests annually on the unionâs 915 cops. The tests will also look for cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and marijuana.
AVAKIANCredits: WW StaffBrad Avakian, a potential challenger for U.S. Rep. David Wu in the 2012 Democratic primary, appears to be nearing an announcement. As first reported April 11 on wweek.com, Avakian has hired as his adviser Jake Weigler of Grant Park Strategies, the political outfit started by Josh Kardon, ex-chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Avakian, Oregonâs commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, previously represented Washington County in the Legislature.
Erik Stenâs ideas live! The former city commissionerâs controversial proposal to use downtown urban renewal dollars to help the David Douglas School District finance construction in East Portland is zipping through the Legislature. Senate Bill 217 is sponsored by Sen. Rod Monroe and Reps. Jefferson Smith and Mike Schauflerâthree Democrats whose districts include East Portland. Their bill clashes with a 2009 agreement among local governments to oppose urban renewal expansion bills because of âthe need to return property value to the tax rolls. Among the 13 signatories to that agreement are Multnomah and Clackamas counties. (The City of Portland signed but agreed not to oppose David Douglas.) SB 217 is set for an April 13 work session in the Senate Revenue Committee.
Thereâs a roadblock to bipartisan efforts to connect the Legislatureâs K-12 appropriation with local school districtsâ spending (see âBreaking the Cycle,â WW, April 6, 2011). House Bill 3539 was stymied in a House Business and Labor Committee hearing April 6 by co-chairman Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) and Rep. Greg Mathews (D-Gresham). Both panned the bill as an assault on collective bargaining, because it would shift control over teacher pay away from Oregonâs 197 school districts. Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River) was disappointed but not deterred. âWe continue to believe the idea has great merit,â Johnson says, âand we hope to continue discussions.â
Add another name to the growing list of potential candidates for Portland City Council in 2012. Annette Mattson, a member of the David Douglas School Board since the Clinton era, says several people have approached her about running for city commissioner. âI am open to the idea,â says Mattson, a government affairs administrator for Portland General Electric.