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February 29th, 2012 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Grant High School Exposés Itself

Never deferential, affirming or quiet.

murmurs.grant_3817GRANT MAGAZINE - Photo by Anna Shepherd
  • Grant High School student journalists investigating the Jan. 12 locker-room assault involving junior varsity basketball players have broken big news: Sources tell Grant Magazine police will not bring criminal charges. The magazine also includes a two-page letter from students involved in the incident; they say the practice of “G-ing” has been protected for too long by a “culture of silence and secrecy.” The student magazine (thegrantmag.com) also includes stories about the culture of high-school sports and the pressure on students not to “snitch” when they see wrongdoing by their peers.
  • The former general counsel for Evergreen International Aviation—the McMinnville-based military contractor suspected of having intelligence agency ties—claims in a new lawsuit that chairman Tim Wahlberg fired her for asking too many questions. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Monique DeSpain sued Evergreen on Feb. 23 in U.S. District Court in Portland, claiming sex discrimination, retaliation and violations of federal whistle-blower protections. DeSpain’s suit says she was “outspoken” in inquiring about the company’s legal risks. Wahlberg, the suit says, “expected her to work in a stereotypically appropriate manner for a woman. That is, he expected her to be deferential, compromising, affirming and quiet.” DeSpain’s suit also alleges company founder Delford Smith said of a job candidate, “He’s great, BUT, he’s Hispanic!” DeSpain declined to comment. Evergreen, with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, didn’t responded to WW’s questions.
  • Plans for a new charter school in Portland have hit tough times. Bridges Public Charter High School lost its contract with Portland Public Schools on Monday, Feb. 27. Bridges, a Waldorf school, was to open in September 2012 but didn’t get access to federal grants it was counting on. The district may give Bridges a second chance. Meanwhile, the school board also canceled the contract for the hip-hop REAL Prep Public Charter Academy, which failed to open its Pearl District campus last fall after questions about financial problems surfaced.
  • Campaign cash updates: Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro), running for state labor commissioner, has snagged a second $25,000 check from Stimson Lumber. Starr’s total contributions this year have hit $80,000; the incumbent, Brad Avakian, $38,000.... Corporations may be people, but have buildings started donating money in the mayor’s race? Charlie Hales got $2,500 from the “12th & Alder Building” and Eileen Brady got another $2,500 from “Glisan Property LLC.” No, it’s the Goodman family, of downtown parking lot and real estate fame, that controls both entities. Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland), the other major candidate, has not received a check from a Goodman edifice. For the latest in 2012 election news, go to wweek.com/pdxvotes.
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