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November 23rd, 2005 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Guess Who's Coming To Breakfast?

     
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Celebrity gawkers, get your cameras! Former first lady, and perhaps future president, Hillary Rodham Clinton comes to Portland on Dec. 16 to raise money for her Senate re-election campaign next year. With appropriate caveats that details could change, the tentative plan calls for the junior Democratic senator from New York to eat breakfast with supporters at a $50-a-plate event at the Hilton.

For more information, go to www.hillaryclinton.com/portland

One day after Gov. Ted Kulongoski filed re-election papers, state Sen. Rick Metsger says he won't be taking on the guv in next year's Democratic primary. Metsger will instead run for re-election to his Senate seat covering parts of east Multnomah and Clackamas counties as well as all of Hood River County. Metsger, whose exploratory bid for governor got little traction, says he can be more effective on issues like health care and education in the Senate. He's not taking a position in his party's primary and rejects any rumor that he got a promise from Kulongoski for support in a bid for Senate leadership. (Metsger says he doesn't even have plans for a leadership post.)

Veteran state Rep. Mark Hass (D-Raleigh Hills) won't run for a fourth term next year. Sources tell Murmurs that Hass, a former TV reporter, was frustrated with the travails of being a moderate in Salem. That annoyance, combined with the pressing needs to make a living and raise his family, led Hass to bow out. Once considered a potential challenger to Congressman David Wu (D-Ore.), the telegenic Hass will probably pursue a career in PR and marketing.

Payday lenders in Portland, beware. City Commissioner Dan Saltzman will introduce an ordinance next month to crack down on those loans with sky-high interest. The proposal comes after an Oregon State Public Interest Research Group study showed Portland payday-loan borrowers getting soaked at an average annual interest rate of 480 percent. Saltzman's ordinance would give borrowers the right to establish a payment plan, among other protections. Sound familiar? A similar bill passed the Oregon Senate earlier this year, but died in the House.

Memo to Bob Pamplin: Just because you moved the Portland Tribune to Clackamas County doesn't mean your readers have lost interest in Portland news. As the Portland Art Museum's board chairman, you might have whispered on Thursday to a Trib reporter that you'd issue a press release the next day about the departure of museum executive director John Buchanan. That scoop rated front-page, above-the-fold coverage from The Oregonian on Saturday, an extensive front-page Living story and even a follow-up on Sunday's Metro page. So what did make the front page of Friday's Trib? Such spellbinders as "Young language learners pack the classrooms" and "Unsafe drivers gently curbed."

Give a little, get a lot. Everyone who donates to the nonprofits profiled in WW's Give! Guide (wweek.com/giveguide) will receive a discount coupon at American Apparel; a cup of joe at Stumptown; a tin of Powell's After Reading Mints; a booklet of Music Millennium New Year's coupons; and, while they last, a copy of WW's Finder magazine. Give $250 or more and Publisher Richard Meeker will personally deliver a pound of coffee, a six-pack of beer, and a bottle of fine wine from E&R Wine Shop. Make the biggest gift and get dinner for two with Meeker and WW's editor, Mark Zusman, at your favorite restaurant. All donors have an equal shot at the deluxe edition of the Johnny Cash Legend box set (a $300-plus value from Music Millennium) and chef's dinners for two at clarklewis. So give! Give! Give!

Web-only Murmurs!

There's a new odd couple in North Portland's Boise Neighborhood Association, which includes rapidly developing North Mississippi Avenue. Newly elected to share the association's land-use chair are neighborhood property owner David Yoho, who rents living space downtown but actually lives in Chicago, and Brian Bailitz, a.k.a. "BHT," resident of the nine-member Mississippi Co-op House. So any fireworks ahead between these two? Bailitz says he hopes Yoho will be committed to the community interest. Yoho, who plans to develop a 15,000-square-foot retail/condo space on Mississippi with local partners, says he'll "provide balance" to an association he considers dominated by the co-op's agenda. Stay tuned.

Never let it be said that Murmurs would ignore the latest flare-up between County Chair Diane Linn and Commissioners Maria Rojo de Steffey, Lisa Naito and Serena Cruz (a trio known collectively in county circles as the "Mean Girls"). So here goes. Linn, who's running for re-election, recently reminded staffers in all county departments that they must report to her before working with the four other commissioners (including non-"Mean Girl" Lonnie Roberts) on items to be presented at meetings. Several county employees interpreted the reminder as the latest shot in a turf war aimed at keeping Linn's political foes out of the information loop. Linn's office says that's nonsense.

 
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