New Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is making a response to the Newtown, Conn., school massacre a top priority for his first week in office. Hales has scheduled a meeting this week with Police Chief Mike Reese and the superintendents of all six school districts within Portlandâs city limits. The topic: increased school security. âI want to know where we stand as a city on school safety planning,â Hales says. Hales says he wants to reduce risks, but adds, âI donât want to over-promise, because thereâs too many guns out there.â Hales also says he plans to talk with regional leaders, including Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen and state Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) about tightening gun control in Oregon. âWeâve gotten too practiced at a sequence in which we say, âThese victims were wonderful people, theyâre in a better place now, and letâs take strength from how sweet and virtuous those lost family members were,ââ Hales says. âI want us to stay angry and focused on action, not just mourning.â
Former Portland City Council candidate and soon-to-be-ex-state Rep. Mary Nolan (D-Portland) is a candidate for the top job at Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette. As wweek.com first reported last week, the nonprofit confirmed Nolanâwho lost a bid to unseat City Commissioner Amanda Fritz in Novemberâis a candidate for the CEO position. She would replace David Greenberg, who left his $196,000-a-year post last year following contentious contract negotiations with the Service Employees International Union. Nolan, 58, may be more politically in line with Planned Parenthood and its supporters than the previous finalist, Judy Peppler, who backed Republican John McCainâs 2008 presidential run and Republican Chris Dudleyâs campaign for Oregon governor in 2010. Nolan also confirmed sheâs talking with Planned Parenthood but declined further comment. âMy take on it is, I donât want to have a public take on it,â Nolan says.
Incoming Metro Councilor Bob Stacey isnât wasting any time in challenging the agencyâs stance on the Columbia River Crossing, the $3.5 billion megaproject that would replace the Interstate 5 Bridge and run light rail to Vancouver. Stacey wants tolls added to Interstate 205âa move he says would prevent travelers from ducking tolls scheduled for the new I-5 Bridge. Projections already show tolls paid by traffic using the CRC will fall short of projections. Current plans donât include I-205 tolls, and federal law says existing freeways canât add tolls without a major expansion or reconstruction project. Stacey says heâs confident there are ways to put tolls in placeâeven if it takes a long time to get approved. âIf you ask, and you have congressional support for your ask,â Stacey says, âthere will be a way to do it.â