Updated December 13, 2011 Published December 13, 2011
The union-backed advocacy group Our Oregon quietly dropped 13 potential ballot measures with the Oregon Secretary of Stateâs elections division last week. The measures have names such as âMillionaires Should Pay Their Fair Share,â âLarge Corporations Should Pay Their Fair Share,â and âFund Schools, Not the 1%.â Sound familiar? Unions have been backers of the Occupy movement from the start and continue to exploit its message. The proposed Our Oregon measuresâthey still need to qualify for the ballotâcould revive the class warfare that marked the battle around the passage of 2010 income and business tax hikes. Whatâs different here: Our Oregon is going on the offense instead of playing defense against anti-tax measures, as they have for most of the past decade. âThe Occupy movement has brought to the forefront issues weâve talked about for a long time,â says Our Oregon spokesman Scott Moore.
Getaround, a San Francisco-based car-sharing startup, will get about two-thirds of a $1.7 million federal transportation grant to bring its service to Portland. Getaround works like Zipcar, except you donât rent a car from the companyâs fleetâyou rent from your neighbors, whose cars are retrofitted with smartphone-enabled door locks and GPS tracking units. Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman Dan Anderson says Getaround approached the city last winter about applying for a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to expand the car-sharing service, already running in the Bay Area. The 2011 Legislature passed a bill that makes car-sharing legal in Oregon. Anderson says the rest of the grant will go to the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium at Portland State University to study the service. The service starts February, but one silver Honda Civic, parked at Southeast 33rd Avenue, is already listed on getaround.com.
In the No Hard Feelings Dept.: Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight raged when Gov. John Kitzhaber and his higher ed board fired University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere last month. Knight called the boardâs decision to boot the wave-making UO chiefâand Kitzhaberâs decision to go alongââan embrace of mediocrity.â (The firing may be proof that UO is not a Nike subsidiary after all.) Well, when it comes to embracing, itâs now time for hugs all around. As first reported on wweek.com, Nike gave Kitzhaber $10,000 on Dec. 9, just over two weeks after Lariviereâs firing. Itâs the single biggest contribution to the governor since he took office in January.