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September 21st, 2011 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: Raising Funds, Chickens and Rent

We’ve never been near Glen Rice or an oil drum.

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  • Two City Council candidates who are also state lawmakers face pressure to get their fundraising done before the May 2012 primary. State Rep. Mary Nolan is running for City Council and Rep. Jefferson Smith is running for mayor. The Legislature will meet for a 35-day session beginning Feb. 2, 2012. House rules ban members from raising money during session. House leaders may consider whether to alter the rule during an interim session later this week. But with the House deadlocked 30-30—and Republicans having no reason to help two Portland Democrats—it’s unlikely the rule will change.
  • Having trouble finding a decent and yet affordable rental in Portland? You’re not alone. Portland had the lowest vacancy rate out of the 75 largest U.S. cities for the first half of 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau—that means landlords can raise rents—and their standards—when filling their units. Ari Rapkin, co-director of the Community Alliance of Tenants, says the low vacancy rates make it even more difficult for Oregonians to find affordable housing. Go to oregoncat.org for some tips on how to land an apartment—such as dressing like you’re going to a job interview and leaving misbehaving children at home.
  • Last month, WW exposed the owner of a shady business that charged people $39 to have their mugshots removed from the Web (“Mugshot Profiteers,” WW, Aug. 24, 2011). Portlander Kyle Ritter took the pay button off his site, pdxmugshots.com, and others he runs across the country. Well, he’s back—sort of. His site now advertises removemymug.com that charges $99 to remove mugshots. Ritter says he’s out of the mugshot-clearing business. “Removemymug.com is an advertiser,” Ritter says in an email. “We do not operate the website and we have no stake in it.”
  • Turns out many Portlanders who’ve joined the backyard-poultry bandwagon weren’t exactly clear on the whole cycle-of-life thing. Hence an upcoming seminar on dealing with a “sensitive” subject: “chicken end-of-life issues.” Karen Wolfgang, co-owner of Independence Gardens (tagline: “We help you DIY”), which sets out to help in-over-their-head urban farmers, says many people don’t know how to handle hens that have passed their prime egg-laying years. Owners often discover they lack the guts to butcher their pet chicken. “I have heard of people maybe ‘accidentally’ leaving the chicken coop door open,” she says—letting the raccoons have their way. Wolfgang’s Sept. 27 seminar will provide referrals to a reputable hen “retirement home”—or tips on wielding a hatchet. The $20 seminar runs from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Urban Farm Store, 2100 SE Belmont St.
 
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