• A Portland-based agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has gone to work for a private equity firm that exclusively backs businesses involved in legal marijuana sales. The Wall Street Journal first reported Dec. 10 that former DEA supervisor Patrick Moen has taken a job with Privateer Holdings, a Seattle firm that invests in pot startups, including cannabis warehouses and the weed-review website Leafly.com. Moen ran the DEA team fighting meth in Portland and joins Privateer Holdings as senior legal counsel. “The potential social and financial returns,” he tells the Journal, “are enormous.”
  • City Hall still can’t get to phase one of its long-delayed Portland Bike Share, but City Commissioner Steve Novick is already making a play for money for phase two. Novick is seeking $2.5 million from the Oregon Department of Transportation to expand proposed locations for bike-share stations, including one in the North Portland industrial enclave of Swan Island. The City Council still hasn’t decided whether to subsidize the bike-share program with a loan up to $4.6 million for a planned launch next year (“The Big Bike Bailout,” WW, Aug. 14, 2013). 
  • Two retired Portland firefighters say they and about 300 others have been cheated out of pension increases. Clark Stephens and Robert Wuerth’s class-action lawsuit filed Dec. 3  in Multnomah County Circuit Court alleges the city Bureau of Fire and Police Disability and Retirement has failed to follow a judge’s 2011 order to boost pension checks dating to 2007. The estimated cost to make it right: $2 million. The pension fund’s financial manager, Nancy Hartline, says the city will pay up only if an appeals court upholds the ruling. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Gregory Hartman, says the affected retirees can’t wait that long. “There’s some urgency,” he says. “These people are dying off.”
  • Riverplace Athletic Club and All-Star Fitness operator Sam Adams bounced employee and vendor checks for months (“Unnecessary Roughness,” WW, Oct. 9, 2013), but when his company wrote a bad check to the Portland Water Bureau, it was game over. Bureau administrator David Shaff says the city was set to shut off Riverplace’s water Dec. 11—a move averted when RAC owner Dennis Sivers and Adams’ lender, Allstate Financial Group, agreed Allstate would take over Adams’ contract. “Our goal is not to shut people off,” Shaff says. “Our goal is to get paid.”
  • Give!Guide update: WW’s 2013 G!G has raised more than $760,000, nearly $200,000 ahead of last year’s pace. More than 3,400 individuals have given—1,076 donors are 35 and under. Any donor who gives $10 or more Dec. 12 could win a case of Rogue Spirits. Just go to giveguide.org and GIVE!