• The new fee Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick want to levy against Portland homeowners and businesses will hit an unexpected target as well: other government agencies. As first reported here, Hales says he has personally called leaders at Portland Public Schools, Metro, the Port of Portland, and Oregon Health & Science University to tell them they should expect to pay the fee, as will public universities and other school districts inside city limits. PPS was surprised to learn its bill could be as high as $400,000 a year. Homeowners could pay as much as $12 a month, while businesses and government agencies would be charged based on the size of their properties and the traffic they generate. Hales and Novick will reveal their plan May 22, and the City Council could vote on it in early June.
  • Dept. of Shameless Self-Promotion, 2014 Edition: WW won 13 first-place awards at the Society of Professional Journalists banquet May 17, including one for general excellence. WW scored two top prizes among alternative newspapers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska for stories published in 2013. Only half the results are in, but these are our first-place winners so far: Investigative reporting: Rachel Graham Cody, “Expel Check” (Sept. 25, 2013), rising discipline rates levied by Portland Public Schools against African-American students. Sports reporting: Aaron Mesh, Casey Jarman, Aaron Brown, Jonanna Widner and John Locanthi, “Rip City vs. No Pity” (Oct. 9, 2013), Portland Timbers and Portland Trail Blazers competing for fans’ love.
  • WW also won the General Excellence prize and 10 first-place awards among Oregon and southwest Washington weekly newspapers, circulation 8,000-plus. Social issues reporting: Nigel Jaquiss, “No Good Deed” (July 17, 2013), the adoption of a troubled child. Profiles: Andrea Damewood, “Whack-a-Mole” (Oct. 23, 2013), an activist accused of being an FBI informant. Government reporting: Damewood, “The Woman Behind the Bridge” (Feb. 27, 2013), an adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber’s lobbying for the Columbia River Crossing. Investigative reporting: Cody, “Expel Check.” Education reporting: Jaquiss, “Flunk Factories” (Nov. 13, 2013), the truth behind Portland high schools’ graduation rates. Science and health reporting: Erin Fenner, “Who Wants to Save a Junkie?” (March 6, 2013), expanding use of a drug to resuscitate overdosed heroin users. Sports feature: staff, “Spoke Addicts” (April 10, 2013), our 2013 bike issue. Photography: Evan Johnson, “City of Bridges” (Oct. 2, 2013), a photo essay of Portland’s bridges. Long feature: Matthew Singer, “The Last of the Sad Bastards” (Oct. 16, 2013), a profile of Elliott Smith 10 years after his death. Arts reporting: Singer, “The Last of the Sad Bastards.” Consumer and lifestyle: staff, “Hook It to My Veins” (Dec. 4, 2013), our 2013 coffee issue.