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December 21st, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Cat’s Rights, CRC Concerns and Blazertime!

The cats haven’t asked for their own lawyer.

murmurs_evictedcat_3807MEOW-CUPY THE STOOP - IMAGE: Christopher Sessums
  • A Portland State University student is suing the school, claiming it violated her rights by trying to evict her cats—and then her—from student housing earlier this year. Jasmine Batiste, 24, says the cats are companion animals that ameliorate her disabilities (post-traumatic stress disorder and a mood disorder). A PSU staff member found the contraband cats during an inspection one year ago. Batiste refused to get rid of her cats, PSU eventually evicted her, and she sued claiming a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. Batiste is seeking $153,000 in damages for emotional distress. PSU spokesman Scott Gallagher tells WW in an email that the school “denies any wrongdoing and is committed to working with disabled students to accommodate their needs.” Batiste didn’t return WW’s call. Her complaint does not disclose her cats’ names.
  • Doubts about the proposed $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing Project keep spreading. Oregon GOP chairman and potential 2014 gubernatorial candidate Allen Alley raised eyebrows at a Dec. 9 Westside Economic Alliance forum by blasting the Interstate 5 bridge and transit project. Alley—a former venture capitalist, ex-CEO of Pixelworks Inc., and one-time aide to then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski—told the audience he’s soured on the project. “I supported this bridge when I ran for governor [in 2010],” Alley said. “Then I spent a lot of time looking at it, and now I have serious questions and very serious doubts.” The project keeps plunging ahead, even though the Oregon Legislature hasn’t authorized a dime for construction. Project officials said Dec. 20 they’ve ordered a $4.2 million “test” of the foundation work on the Washington side near the current I-5 bridge.
  • Last year, 72 percent of voters said yes to allowing the county to propose a Multnomah County library district on the ballot. But Multnomah County Board Chair Jeff Cogen says he doesn’t believe voters this year are ready to approve the district and permanent funding for the county’s library system. Cogen had considered such a measure for the May 2012 ballot. He told county employees in a letter last week that he instead backs a measure to renew the current levy. That means cuts to Multnomah County library services. The library system, he says, has an $11 million budget shortfall this year, and the county will have to fill gaps with other money. “Unfortunately, this approach will force us to reduce library hours and staff positions,” Cogen wrote.
  • Trail Blazers junkies! We have not forsaken you (even if the injury gods have). Read part one of WW basketball guy Casey Jarman’s massive, two-part season preview at wweek.com/blazertime. And watch for Casey’s live blogs of Blazers home games.
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