The Portland Association of Teachers and Portland Public Schools averted a strike with a tentative contract agreement Feb. 18, but the Portland Parents Coalitionâwhich earlier filed a complaint alleging the district failed to meet the legal minimum number of instructional hours (see âFast Times at PPS Highâ, WW, Oct. 30, 2013), a legacy of the last contractâwants to see the agreement before itâs signed. âWe ask that you commit to holding a forum in which you (the Board) share the content and meaning of the agreement, and answer questions related to it for your constituents,â parent Lisa Zuniga wrote to the School Board. PPS spokeswoman Christine Miles says the board hasnât had time to review the request.
City Commissioner Steve Novick has responded to the deaths of two people crossing streets in East Portland last weekend by committing to a policy of street-safety investments designed to eliminate pedestrian fatalities. The deaths of Yan Huang, 78, along Southeast Division Street and Douglas Norman Miller, 60, on Southeast Powell Boulevard mark the fifth and sixth people killed walking on Portland streets in the past three months. The fatalities sparked a renewed campaign pressuring City Hall to spend more money on pedestrian safety. Novick is seeking $1 million for flashing beacons at crosswalks. Mayor Charlie Hales says he doesnât want to commit to any new policy yetâheâs focused on finding new taxes and fees to fund streets and sidewalks. âThatâs likely to go to voters this year,â says Hales spokesman Dana Haynes. âAnd thatâs a real, long-term effort to make streets safer.â
The city of Portland is getting out of the toilet-sales game. City Commissioner Nick Fish says the city is abandoning its scheme to sell the Portland Looâformer Commissioner Randy Leonardâs patented outdoor toiletâto other cities in order to pay the cleaning bill for the six public toilets Portland has already installed. WW reported last year that the loo marketing program was selling less than half the toilets required to break even (âMoney Bucket,â WW, May 15, 2013). Fish says now that the city has settled a lawsuit against the makers of a knockoff street toilet, Portland officials can finalize a deal with the looâs builder, Madden Fabrication, to take over the sales program. âRandy had the right idea,â Fish says, âbut that doesnât mean the city has to be in the loo business.â