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August 24th, 2011 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

It’s Still August. We’re Still Here.

murmurs-burton_3742Mike Burton
     
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  • Former state legislator and Metro Council Chairman Mike Burton has lawyered up to fight any charges he broke state ethics laws by taking a $4,500, 11-day European trip last year while a vice provost at Portland State University. He’s hired John DiLorenzo Jr., a prominent attorney and lobbyist with a long record of helping elected officials fight ethics charges. As wweek.com first reported, PSU referred the case to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission after an audit found Burton falsely claimed to have attended conferences in France. Auditors also found PSU’s School of Extended Studies, which Burton oversaw, had widespread accounting and billing problems. Burton tells WW he warned PSU officials for years about the problems—specifically, software conflicts between departments. PSU Provost Roy Koch tells WW that Burton had been pushing for a new system, but that management problems went beyond those that could be blamed on lousy software.
  • Mother Jones’ September issue features a yearlong investigation of U.S. government prosecution of 508 cases of alleged domestic terrorism. The magazine says the pending case against Mohamed Mohamud, charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square in November 2010, illustrates its findings. Among them: All but three high-profile domestic terror plots in the past decade were FBI stings; and in many there are no recordings of key encounters with suspects. Journalist Trevor Aaronson writes, “The Portland case has been held up as an example of how FBI stings can make a terrorist where there might have been only an angry loser.” A federal judge has set Mohamud’s trial for April 2012.
  • Turns out a feminist bookstore can take a joke—and maybe save itself in the process. As WW reported in June, In Other Words, which bills itself as a women’s resource center, faced financial collapse under tens of thousands of dollars in debt and falling revenues (see “At a Loss for Words,” WW, June 22, 2011). It’s perhaps best known as a location—and subject of spoof—in Portlandia. The stars of the IFC series, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, hosted a fundraiser Aug. 20 at In Other Words to help bail out the store. In Other Words officials say they raised more than $5,000. Says board chairwoman Lauren McCartney, “We will not be closing our doors by any means.”
  • Stumptown walk of shamers, be warned: You’re not alone in your wanton ways. CBS.com reports that Portland is the most promiscuous city in the United States. These sultry statistics are based on the percentage of OkCupid.com members—a free online dating site—who say they’re “looking for casual sex.” Portland came out on top with 9.4 percent. CBS ranked our sophisticated sister a close second, saying that Seattle, “the birthplace of grunge rock, is also a breeding ground of casual sex.” Five out of 10 of the sluttiest cities are on the West Coast. We’re titillated by the city’s new title.
 
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