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May 4th, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

News From Beyond Abbottabad.

  • Mayor Sam Adams’ proposed $408 million general-fund discretionary budget includes a provision to keep the city’s controversial leaf-removal fee. The $15 to $65 fee riled some Portlanders last year when the mayor introduced it without a great deal of notice. Adams will also keep the opt-out program. “If you clean the leaves in front of your yard, you don’t have to pay a thing,” Adams announced. “We think this is a good value for Portlanders.”
  • What doesn’t Adams’ budget include? The River Patrol for one. At his annual State of the City address In February, Adams proposed that the city take over Multnomah County’s function of performing rescues on the Willamette and Columbia rivers. This caught county Sheriff Dan Staton by surprise, even though Adams said it was intended to save the county money. As a result, talks about the proposal are ongoing. “It’s going to take longer,” Adams says.
    Credits: dpo.org

    Even as lawmakers work to eliminate more than 100 exemptions from Oregon’s Public Records law (see here), Sen. Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland), at the behest of City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, is seeking to shield recordings of 911 calls from disclosure. That legislation, Senate Bill 346, currently sits in the Senate Rules committee, which Rosenbaum chairs. Fritz says she wants callers—not public employees—to be able to veto the release of 911 audio. “It’s a patient privacy issue,” Fritz says. Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), a former television reporter, disagrees. “I have voted against this concept before and will do so again,” Hass says. “Disclosure is a good check and balance to see how 911 operators handle the cases we’ve entrusted to them.”
  • Speaking of Rosenbaum…. As Senate majority leader, she is the Legislature’s top-ranking woman and widely mentioned as a possible successor to Brad Avakian as commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. Both are up for re-election next year, but Avakian has announced he’ll try instead to unseat U.S. Rep. David Wu in the 1st Congressional District’s Democratic primary.  “I’m really concentrating on being Senate majority leader right now, and will be through the end of session,” Rosenbaum says. “But I care a lot about BOLI and its mission to help workers and administer important programs like the minimum wage.”
  •  A recently retired Portland cop is taking a novel path to try to secure discipline for the lieutenant he claims forced him out of his job. The retired sergeant, Doug Justus, has filed a complaint at City Hall’s Independent Police Review division against Lt. Rachel Andrew. Justus says Andrew, his supervisor, subjected him to repeated verbal abuse in an attempt to hound him out of his former position as the police bureau’s point man on human trafficking (see “Missing Justus,” WW, Feb. 16, 2011). “That’s pretty rare,” says IPR Assistant Director Constantin Severe, adding that he can’t recall another instance where a cop has put his name to an IPR complaint against a fellow officer. Justus tells WW he turned to IPR because he doesn’t trust the police Internal Affairs Division.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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