Heâs not up for re-election until 2016, but U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) held a big-ticket fundraiser on Aug. 3 in Washington, D.C. The lunchtime event asked $2,500 from âco-hostsâ and $5,000 from âsponsors.â The money went to Wyden for Oregon, a joint committee formed by Wydenâs Senate campaign and Holding Onto Oregonâs Priorities, a Wyden committee to help Democratic candidates. In May, Wyden canceled a scheduled appearance at a reception for his former chief of staff Josh Kardon, now a lobbyist, after WW reported that Kardonâs prospective lobbying clients would be attending. WW has now learned from federal campaign finance reports that Wydenâs campaign paid Kardonâs company, Grant Park Strategies, $32,500 this year for âstrategic consulting.â Wyden spokeswoman Jennifer Hoelzer didnât return messages. Kardonâs assistant at Tonkon Torp, the Portland law firm where he works, said he was traveling in Europe and couldnât be reached.
Not so fast on fast-tracking the Columbia River Crossing. The Metro Council last week used an obscure state law for siting light-rail lines to give sweeping land-use approval to the $3.6 billion freeway projectâeven though light rail is 23 percent of the projectâs cost (see âAll Aboard!â WW, Aug. 3, 2011). The blanket approval got little attention or debate; the law Metro used limits grounds for appeals. Still, opponents say they will fight on at the state Land Use Board of Appeals. Metro did back off of one key decision: The board delayed its OK of the projectâs final environmental-impact statement, saying it needed more review.
Monocle calls itself a âbriefing on global affairs, business, culture and design.â But itâs also a big, thick and expensive magazine that loves to talk about cities. Monocleâs annual ranking of the worldâs top cities has Portland in 18th placeâup from 22nd last yearâmaking it the top U.S. city. Portland edged out Honolulu (19th) and Seattle (25th). The survey looks at factors such as medical care, public transportation, climate and chain stores. That might explain why the Rose City didnât do even better. The number of Starbucks in the No. 1 city, Helsinki: zero. Portland: 114.
Two more award-winning veteran journalists departed The Oregonian last week. FOODday writer Leslie Cole left after 18 years at the paper to become a communications manager for Grand Central Bakery. A spokesperson there says Cole will start after Labor Day. Phil Manzano ended his 27-year career at The O to join World Vision, an international-aid organization based in Federal Way, Wash. Manzano has been a reporter and suburban bureau chief at The O, and most recently worked as a community news Web editor. We couldnât reach Manzano or Cole by press time.