Portland police Capt. Sara Westbrook was promoted to commander June 21 and put in charge of running the East Precinctâthe Police Bureauâs busiest. Westbrook, a 27-year veteran, led the Central Precinctâs response to the often-tense Occupy Portland protests in 2011. Police Bureau sources say Westbrookâs work during Occupyâand on federal civil rights mandates that the bureau clean up its actâhelped her get the promotion. Dana Haynes, spokesman for Mayor Charlie Hales, says Hales asked Chief Mike Reese to pick reformers when he made his staff changes. âGiven that we feel community policing has been ignored, we wanted the right person for the right time and right position,â Haynes says. âWe asked the chief, âCan you look through that lens, and not just on number of years served when you promote?ââ
The stateâs largest landline telephone provider, CenturyLink, has withdrawn an audacious request to delay utility-pole maintenance for up to 10 years (âDown to the Wire,â WW, May 22, 2013). Smaller utilities and utility and electrical workers hated the proposal, which they said was a dangerous attempt to save money. âWe are sensitive to the economic issues that employers such as CenturyLink are facing,â says Marcy Grail, assistant business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 125. âHowever, you cannot balance your budget on the back of worker safety.â
Former Oregon Republican Party Chairman and 1994 GOP gubernatorial candidate Craig Berkman pleaded guilty June 25 to felony counts of wire and securities fraud in federal court in New York. Once known as Oregonâs top venture capitalist and a top political contributor, Berkman left Oregon in 2005 for Florida after dozens of investors here sued him (âThe Talented Mr. Berkman,â WW, Jan. 25, 2006).