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April 16th, 2014 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: All The News We Wrote While The Sun Was Out.

murmurs_4024PORTLAND POT SHOPS: Not if we get more, but where they get to locate. - IMAGE: Darryl James
  • Proponents of an initiative to ban public funding for abortions are employing a novel tactic: The group’s website, Oregon2014.org, allows users to search for the names of people who have signed the initiative petition. A quick search, for instance, shows neither of the leading Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in the May 20 primary, Dr. Monica Wehby or state Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend), have signed the petition, although both have said they are opposed to abortion. Jeff Jimerson, one of the measure’s chief petitioners, says the search function is designed to help the campaign avoid costly penalties for turning in duplicate signatures. “We’ve been gathering signatures for a year, and it’s an all-volunteer effort,” Jimerson says. “We’ve caught hundreds of duplicate signatures this way.”
  • Portland City Hall isn’t halting the growth of medical marijuana dispensaries inside city limits—but Mayor Charlie Hales is looking to tighten the rules on pot shops. State legislation creates a May 1 deadline for cities to decide if they want to cap the number of marijuana retailers for the next year. The League of Oregon Cities says 87 cities—including many suburban towns ringing Portland—have either passed a moratorium or are considering one. Instead, aides to Hales say, the mayor wants Portland to require dispensaries to notify neighbors about their siting, operate for limited hours and follow tighter rules about where they can locate. “We want to make sure that we’re taking into account the will of the voters and neighborhood livability,” says Hales spokesman Dana Haynes. “Those may be contradictory goals.”
  • There goes the bride: State Registrar Jennifer Woodward has already overhauled Oregon’s marriage-license application forms in anticipation of a federal court ruling that could overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Gone are the traditional places for the name of the “groom” and “bride,” replaced by lines for “Party A” and “Party B.” (Each person gets to check a box to declare whether he or she is a bride, groom or simply “spouse.”) Woodward tells WW the new forms will be ready to use the moment U.S. District Judge Michael McShane in Eugene rules whether the Oregon ban is constitutional. If he orders the ban struck down, Woodward says, counties can immediately use the updated forms. That could happen as soon as April 23, when McShane hears oral arguments on the question.
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