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July 2nd, 2014 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Mumurs: News That Always Has Room For One More Guest.

murmurs_4035IMAGE: Emma Browne
  • The City Council later this month is expected to make it legal for the home-rental marketplace Airbnb to operate in Portland. The decision will give Airbnb a legitimacy it lacks in other cities, including New York, which is cracking down on the company that matches homeowners with tenants looking for a short-term rental. The new Portland rules would require that property owners live in the homes they put up for rent (“Suite Surrender,” WW, March 19, 2014). Airbnb continues to lobby to have apartments and condos included under the rules. Meanwhile, Airbnb isn’t waiting for the formal go-ahead to start collecting hotel taxes. On July 1, the San Francisco-based startup began charging homeowners an 11.5 percent city and county hotel tax, making Portland the first city where Airbnb collects government fees.
  • Since 2009, Club Rouge has served as Portland’s “only truly upscale gentlemen’s club.” But the Portland Police Bureau is targeting the liquor license for the strip club, located at 403 SW Stark St. A June 2 letter to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission from Capt. Mark Kruger of the bureau’s drugs and vice division says police may give an “unfavorable recommendation” against license renewal because the applicant “is not of good repute and moral character.” OLCC records show the licensee is Rouge PDX LLC, run by Zombie Holdings LLC, which is managed by Milwaukie lawyer Jeremy Swanlund. Police declined to discuss their objections to Club Rouge’s owners. Swanlund says he’s aware the city may oppose the license renewal but doesn’t know why. “I think it will be resolved through the process,” he adds. “I don’t think it’s very serious.” The OLCC has to conduct its own investigation if police make a negative recommendation, but in the end it may choose to renew the license, which expired June 30. The liquor agency has granted the club an extension while police complete their review.
  • A Multnomah Athletic Club employee says he was sexually harassed by his supervisor but that the exclusive club didn’t take action after he reported the problem. In his complaint, filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries on June 19, Brian McMorris says he hired on at MAC as a caterer in 2012. He says his male supervisor grabbed McMorris’ buttocks and “didn’t remove [his hand] after I asked multiple times. I had to remove it myself.” The complaint says the supervisor called McMorris “sweetie” and “baby” and then cut his hours after McMorris told management. McMorris, who still works at MAC, didn’t respond to WW’s request for comment. A club official also declined to comment on the allegations. “We take any claims of harassment very seriously,” says Alison Beppler, the club’s human resources director, “and address those promptly.” 
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