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November 30th, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Oregon Housing Alliance, and Dogcupying the Portland Plan

News does not count as a serving of vegetables.

  • Multnomah County has resigned from the Oregon Housing Alliance because of the Alliance’s lobbyist, Mark Nelson. County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury says Nelson’s role in a signature-gathering firm working on a proposed constitutional ban on a real-estate transfer tax is contrary to the Housing Alliance’s interest in developing more affordable housing. Kafoury says the county’s $4,250 annual dues will no longer help pay Nelson. “Mark Nelson lobbies against nearly everything we [the county] stand for,” Kafoury says. Nelson says he is only a board member of the signature-gathering firm and has no advocacy or financial role in the measure. “She’s just wrong,” he says.
  • Left without a staging ground since the Nov. 13 removal of its tent city at Chapman and Lownsdale squares, Occupy Portland now plans to set up camp in another park on Saturday, Dec. 3. “Why? Because,” the group explains on its website, “we have the right to peacefully assemble...and we’re not done!” At 3 pm, Occupiers plan to march from the Salmon Street Springs Fountain (north of the Hawthorne Bridge in Tom McCall Waterfront Park) to an undisclosed location where they’ll set up tents and break out the Hula-Hoops. Earlier that day, at Southeast 37th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard, Occupiers “who still want to participate…but don’t necessarily want to go downtown” are encouraged to bring their pets (on a leash) to a “Dogcupy Portland” protest outside local bank branches. Why? Because crossing the river is too much trouble, even for the 99 percent.
  • The Portland Plan is a beautiful document,” says a recent announcement by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, “but its length and complexity can be overwhelming.” By way of soliciting public comments on the 183-page draft of the city’s 25-year comprehensive plan, the city produced two how-to videos, posted at pdxplan.com. In one, “How to Comment on the Portland Plan,” Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission Chair Andre Baugh urges, of all things, concision. “It’s important to be brief and hold your testimony to three minutes,” Baugh says. But brevity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. The other instructional video, called “How to Read the Portland Plan,” runs just over four minutes.
  • Correction: Last week’s story “Not What the Doctors Ordered” misnamed State Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) and described his district too narrowly. WW regrets the errors.
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