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July 3rd, 2013 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: News to Give You Hives.

murmurs_3935KITZHABER - IMAGE: leahnash.com
  • After nearly two years of debate, lawmakers have approved prison reform after Gov. John Kitzhaber stepped back from his hopes of changing the state’s tough sentencing guidelines (“The Hard Truth About Oregon Prisons,” WW, March 13, 2013). Kitzhaber got budget savings—an estimated $326 million over 10 years—while district attorneys who opposed his original plan kept Measures 11 and 57 sentencing guidelines intact. One big loser: the Pew Public Safety Performance Project, which lobbied hard to roll back mandatory minimum sentences. Tweaks to sentencing for felony marijuana crimes and driving while suspended will limit the prison population to just above the current level of 14,300.
  • As lawmakers limp to the 2013 session’s finish, Salem gossip is centered on an attempted takedown of the popular barbecue that uber-lobbyist Mark Nelson and the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association throw in the session’s waning days. Marion County health supervisor Rick Sherman says a local restaurateur urged closure of the rollicking event, where legislative staffers grab free lunches on the Capitol mall. “The restaurant owner said he’s losing business because of that barbecue,” Sherman says. “But it’s a private event, so we don’t have any jurisdiction.”
  • Don’t mess with Go Go Gadget Repairs. The Hillsboro fix-it shop has sued two former customers in Washington County small-claims court after they gave the business rotten reviews on Yelp. Jennifer Agerstam wrote she was gouged for replacing glass on an iPhone and a Samsung cellphone. Jon Van Cleef wrote that Go Go Gadget Repairs also charged him more than promised and called the owner “a flat-out crook.” In court filings, the company says the two wrote “false” and “retaliatory” reviews that hurt the company’s reputation. Go Go Gadget Repairs wants $2,300 in damages from each. Owner Jonathan Mulford declined to comment. Agerstam tells WW she’s fed up with Mulford and angry it will cost her $50 to respond to the suit. “It’s a joke,” she says—and warns consumers Mulford is operating under a new business name, Tablet Repair PDX.
  • The bee news keeps buzzing: Two weeks after insecticide use killed 50,000 bumblebees in Wilsonville, a Northeast Portland woman says her landlord wants to evict her hive of 240,000 honeybees. Beekeeper LaTisha Strickland—who has kept bees at her rental property for three years without problems—says she got word from Fox Property Management that someone in the neighborhood complained, and that she has until July 7 to relocate the hives or she and her bees have to go. Strickland says such a move in hot weather would kill the bees. “This has been weighing heavy on my spirit,” she says. “I just want to have my bees.” Fox Property Management didn’t return WW’s calls.
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