Proponents of an initiative to ban public funding for abortions are employing a novel tactic: The groupâs 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 measureâs chief petitioners, says the search function is designed to help the campaign avoid costly penalties for turning in duplicate signatures. âWeâve been gathering signatures for a year, and itâs an all-volunteer effort,â Jimerson says. âWeâve caught hundreds of duplicate signatures this way.â
Portland City Hall isnât halting the growth of medical marijuana dispensaries inside city limitsâbut 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 citiesâincluding many suburban towns ringing Portlandâhave 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. âWe want to make sure that weâre taking into account the will of the voters and neighborhood livability,â says Hales spokesman Dana Haynes. âThose may be contradictory goals.â
There goes the bride: State Registrar Jennifer Woodward has already overhauled Oregonâs marriage-license application forms in anticipation of a federal court ruling that could overturn the stateâs ban on same-sex marriage. Gone are the traditional places for the name of the âgroomâ and âbride,â replaced by lines for âParty Aâ and âParty B.â (Each person gets to check a box to declare whether he or she is a bride, groom or simply âspouse.â) 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.