• Attorney General John Kroger recently did some fundraising at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, according to his campaign finance reports. Kroger returned home with a handful of checks boosting his cash on hand to $214,000, as he prepares for a re-election run in 2012. (Kroger’s campaign, rather than taxpayers, footed the bill for the trip). Meanwhile, two other statewide electeds also facing re-election next year are less aggressive. Secretary of State Kate Brown has less than $5,000 in her campaign account. And Treasurer Ted Wheeler shows a $217,000 campaign deficit, although $200,000 of his debt comes from money he loaned himself for his 2010 campaign to serve out the term of his predecessor, the late Ben Westlund. 
  • After Powell’s Books laid off 31 workers in February, citing shrinking sales, current and former employees were angry when the book giant this month posted a job notice on its website for about 12 full-time temp workers. Powell’s typically hires temps for the busy summer season. But after laying off full-time staffers, hiring temps to work without benefits created “outrage” among the staff, says Ryan Takas, union representative at ILWU Local 5. The union took the issue to management, and a deal was brokered May 20 to give the laid-off workers preference in filling the temp jobs. “It’s a principle of basic fairness,” Takas says. Powell’s confirms the union’s account.
  • If you’ll indulge a moment of self-congratulation: At the Society of Professional Journalists of Oregon and Southwest Washington annual awards banquet Saturday night, Willamette Week picked up 10 first-place prizes for stories we reported in 2010. Want to see us at our best? Go to wweek.com for links. In the category of large-circulation (above 8,000) non-dailies for Oregon and southwest Washington:
  • News feature: Beth Slovic, “Sext Crimes.”
  • Comprehensive coverage: Nigel Jaquiss for election coverage.
  • Investigative reporting: Nigel Jaquiss, “Oregon’s Scariest Cops.”
  • Social issues: James Pitkin, “Saving Ryan.”
  • Personalities: Nigel Jaquiss, “Dr. Do-Over.”
  • Lifestyle: Aaron Mesh, “Cartpocalypse!”
  • Arts reporting: Michael Mannheimer,  “Everyone Loves Menomena...Except Menomena.”
  • In the category of alternative news weeklies for the Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana):
  • Education reporting: Beth Slovic,  “Extra Credit.”
  • Government and political reporting: Nigel Jaquiss,  “Dr. Do-Over.”
  • Investigative reporting: Beth Slovic, “Sext Crimes.”
  • Also on Saturday night, WW movies editor Aaron Mesh was elected president of the Oregon and Southwest Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for 2011-12. In other news, the food at the banquet was better this year. (Steelhead!)