Not just any proposal can alarm both churches and the purveyors of lottery tickets and cigarettes. But places of worship and convenience stores are the groups expressing the loudest opposition to the street fee proposed by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick. The two officials have deployed their long-discussed strategy to raise up to $50 million a year for transportation projects by charging most households $138 a year, with higher charges for businesses, churches and schools. Hales and Novick hope the City Council will pass the fee June 4 without referring it to voters. âNone of us want to be doing this,â Novick said at the May 22 announcement. âIf the voters are really mad at us, weâre both up for re-election in 2016, and they can throw us out.â Resistance is coming first from restaurants and convenience storesâtheir lobbyists meet this week to discuss how to fight the fee. Also worried: Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, which fears the fee would hit both poor people and the nonprofits that serve them. The City Council will hold a public hearing on the fee May 29.
A federal judgeâs ruling to overturn Oregonâs ban on same-sex marriage hasnât created a rush to the altar in Multnomah Countyâat least not compared to 2004, when same-sex marriages were briefly declared legal in the county. The county has issued 325 marriage licenses in the week following U.S. District Judge Michael McShaneâs landmark May 19 decision. Thatâs triple the number of marriages in a typical week, but it doesnât compare to 2004, when 1,758 couples sought licenses. The numbers may be smaller because other states, including Washington and California, gained marriage equality before Oregon, so couples traveled to tie the knot. But county spokesman David Austin says couples may be taking their time because theyâre less concerned their rights will prove only temporary. âI heard people talking about how good it felt to mosey up to the counter,â Austin says, ârather than sprint.â
The Franklin High program that has significantly increased the number of that schoolâs students headed to college has brought new accolades for the woman who runs it. OnPoint Community Credit Union has named Susan Anglada Bartley its high-school educator of the year. Bartley helped create Franklinâs Advanced Scholar Program, which has particularly helped low-income, Latino and African-American students (âStarting a College Stampede,â WW, Jan. 29, 2014). This year, 100 percent of the Advanced Scholar graduating class has been accepted to collegeâmany of the students will be the first in their families to go. OnPoint will pay Bartleyâs mortgage for a year and donate $1,000 to Franklin. âIt shines a brighter light on what these kids are capable of,â Bartley says. âAmazing.â