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June 9th, 2004 12:00 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Bytes and bits of essential data.


IMAGE: Marty Smith
* Linus Torvalds, the tech-world idol who launched the open-source operating system Linux from his bedroom in Finland more than a decade ago, is moving to Portland. Torvalds, who works with Beaverton's Open Source Development Lab, has purchased a Portland-area home and enrolled his kids in school. Many Portland programmers work on Linux, a populist public-domain phenomenon (see "The Rebel Alliance," Jan. 28, 2004).

* The water just got a whole lot hotter for Dr. Steven Moos, the former Tigard doc who faces drug and child-neglect charges in Washington County (see "Hunting Dr. Feelgood," WW, Dec. 3, 2003). Currently on the lam with his family, Moos was indicted Thursday by U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut. The new charges include illegally importing Viagra and human growth hormone, as well as lying about the status of his medical license.

* Last week Portland-based aid agency Mercy Corps briefly shuttered its office in Quetta, Pakistan, and moved its staffers to a secured hotel after authorities warned of a possible Taliban plot to launch suicide attacks against relief workers. Though the Corps' office had reopened by press time, the alert underscored the region's dangers: Five operatives of Doctors Without Borders were killed in neighboring Afghanistan last week.

* As alert Portland bloggers already know, the Baltimore-based United States Beer Drinking Team has announced that Portland is one of 25 cities vying to house the nation's Beer Hall of Fame, a mega-memorabilia center and watering hole. Also in the running are San Diego, Cincinnati and--of course--Milwaukee. Sudsy advocates of the democratic process can post a vote for (or against) Portland at www.beerhalloffame.com.

* The Money in Politics Research Action Project is hosting a June 19 conference on the public-interest obligations of broadcast media, the effect of radio deregulation on musicians and other hot topics. On June 24, two real live Federal Communications Commissioners will be at a town-hall meeting on media consolidation. See oregonfollowthemoney.org for more info.

* Dutch Treat? Amid tributes to our late Great Communicator came this wicked sketch, courtesy of local wiseass Marty Smith, editor of limetea, an online magazine (www.limetea.net):

* On May 28, the City identified the three top bidders for the contract to operate its six parking garages--opening the next round in the heated war to control the tens of millions of dollars commuters pump into downtown parking annually. The big surprise? The short list did not include market leader City Center Parking, the only company ever to hold the city contract. The smaller surprise? On June 3, city officials, in receipt of an angry letter from City Center president Greg Goodman, changed the rules and let City Center back in the game. City General Services Chief Ron Bergman insists an independent review panel wanted City Center in because its bid was so close to the third-place finisher. And yes, Virginia, Murmurs has determined that there is a Santa Claus. City Council is expected to award the contract in the next month.

* City Hall rumblings: Aisling Coghlan, top aide to Commissioner Dan Saltzman, turned in her city ID card. Portland Development Commission economic-development guru Marty Harris is history. Meanwhile, the Francesconi campaign roped in Holly Armstrong, a former aide to U.S. Rep. David Wu, and ace strategist Liz Kaufman to take over field operations.

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