Nohad Toulanâa leading figure in Portlandâs urban planning and Islamic worldsâdied Oct. 28 with his wife, Dirce Angelina Moroni Toulan, in a traffic accident in Uruguay. Toulan, 81, was the retired director of Portland State Universityâs College of Urban and Public Affairs, which includes the School of Urban Studies and Planning that bears his name. He taught city planning at PSU for 30 years and helped draft Portlandâs celebrated urban growth boundary. Toulanâs planning efforts extended outside the region: In 1984, he left Portland for two years to draft a comprehensive regional plan for the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Dirce Toulan, herself an architect and planner, was 79. âIt is very hard to imagine the American Muslim and Arab communities and Portland without Dr. Nohad and Dirce Toulan,â says Wajdi Said, director of Portlandâs Muslim Educational Trust. âBoth were and will continue to be the pride of the Muslim community in Oregon.â
The battle to end City Hall control of the Portland Water Bureau is now a divided front. A coalition of environmental activists affiliated with Occupy Mount Tabor filed a ballot initiative Oct. 28 to create a âpeopleâs water trust.â The trust would tighten rules on how city water officials spend ratepayersâ money, and require a public vote before adding new chemicals to the cityâs drinking water, including fluoride. Left-wing water activists and big businesses had both supported an initiative campaign to shift authority over Portlandâs water and sewer utilities from the City Council to an independent, elected water district board. Enviros have now changed course. âThe water district would essentially go backward,â says Green Party activist Seth Woolley. Kent Craford, leading the business effort, dismisses Woolleyâs proposal. âHe probably wrote this in his momâs basement between rounds of Dungeons & Dragons,â Craford says.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon wants to tighten rules on how police departments use information gleaned from automatic license plate readers. The devicesâused on 16 Portland Police Bureau cars and by other large law enforcement agencies in Oregonârandomly photograph license plates and store the images (as well as the dates, times and locations of the vehicles) in a searchable database. Police say the images help them find stolen cars and potential suspects. But the ACLU says police keep the images for up to four yearsâfar longer than necessary. The group is drafting a bill for the 2014 legislative session that would require police to delete the images after 24 hours. âWe want guidelines so our government is not collecting and retaining innocent peopleâs data,â ACLU lobbyist Becky Straus says. Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson declined to comment on the proposed legislation but says a 24-hour retention limit would render the plate readers âvirtually useless as an investigative tool.â