- Having failed to secure a sit-down interview with President Barack Obama during his quasi-flyover, in-and-out visit to Portland on July 24, WW is very pleased to have landed an interview instead with “President Barack Obama”—in the person of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia cast member Fred Armisen. Reprising his SNL role, Armisen graciously ducked out of a PDX Pop Now! show and covered for Obama in a WW phone interview covering the presidential visit, the best argument against voting for Mitt Romney and the difficulty of long bicycle trips. When asked about the afternoon traffic problems he might cause following his fundraising luncheon at the Oregon Convention Center, “the president” quickly apologized. But he went on to add that what Portland experienced during his visit is something other cities know as “rush hour.” “Have you heard of that?” he said. “That’s when lots of people wake up early and drive to work at the same time.” Listen to the full interview with President Obarmisen at here.
- Portland’s new westside emergency staging area got christened last weekend—with contaminated water. The city responded to an E. coli scare in a Washington Park reservoir on July 21 from a room inside a former U.S. Army Reserve center in Multnomah Village. It was the new emergency center’s first day in operation since the City Council voted unanimously to authorize acceptance of the decommissioned Army building on July 18. Conveniently, the Water Bureau was the only city agency to have moved in already. “Serendipitous,” says David Blitzer of the Bureau of Emergency Management. “And that building was in the boil-water area, so that was fun.” Safely ensconced in the center, Water Bureau staffers and Mayor Sam Adams drank bottled water. The room’s television was, at least for a while, tuned to golf.
- U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced a bill July 23 that would end the Defense Department’s long-standing practice of using live goats and pigs to train combat medics how to treat grievous battlefield wounds. The Pentagon also uses live monkeys to train for the treatment of chemical and biological weapons casualties. The bill Wyden sponsored would require the military “to use only human-based methods”—including high-tech medical simulators, human cadavers
and rotations in real-life trauma centers—for training members of the
armed forces in the treatment of severe combat injuries. U.S. Rep. Bob
Filner (D-Calif.) first introduced the bill in the House of
Representatives in 2009. The Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine, which supports the bill, says military-training courses
subject some 8,500 goats and pigs annually to stabbings, gunshots, burns and amputations.