| Basil Childers |
Portland Public Schools Superintendent Vicki Phillips hightails it outta town June 30 for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leaving teachers and administrators to play 52-card pickup with her reforms. So, who's likely to bend over and pick up the cards for a position that now pays $203,000 a year? At least four district insiders are rumored to be possible local candidates. That list includes Carol Smith, Phillips' chief of staff, who earns $117,000; Cathy Mincberg, the Houston Independent School District transplant who makes $140,000 as the district's chief operating officer; Richard Clarke, chief human resources officer, with a salary of $140,000; and Leslie Rennie-Hill, formerly of the Portland Schools Foundation, who now serves as the district's chief of high schools and makes $110,000.
Here's one from the Department of Chutzpah: Thomas Gordon, convicted of beating cellmate Dennis Saban to death in 2005 at the Multnomah County Detention Center, is suing the county for violating his civil rights. Gordon, who is acting without a lawyer, alleges in the handwritten federal lawsuit that he was "punished by food" (whatever that may mean), denied access to the library, harassed by staff, and kept in solitary confinement for no reason. In a May 25 court filing, a county attorney denied all the allegations in Gordon's Feb. 26 lawsuit against five jail wardens. Gordon is serving time in Washington for three murder convictions, including the Saban slaying.
Lemon Groves, a 2001 WW Best of Portland winner for her lemon-zest facial, was killed during a recent attack in her home in Nicaragua. According to the AP, Groves—who moved two years ago to the city of Granada to retire—died Sunday, May 28, in a Nicaraguan hospital from multiple injuries. Police say one of 13 men arrested for the crime has confessed to killing Groves, an aesthetician and former owner of the popular Northeast Broadway salon that bore her name. Erik Opsahl, Groves' son-in-law, asks Portlanders to light a candle Sunday to remember his mother-in-law.
The Rose Festival is barring pedicabber Casey Martell from plying his trade anywhere in Waterfront Park between RiverPlace and the Burnside Bridge, although he doesn't charge for rides in his pedal-powered cart. Festival spokesman Rich Jarvis says Martell needs a permit to move festivalgoers because officials consider his acceptance of passenger donations to be vending. That despite the city's previously ruling that Martell doesn't need a permit. Says a puzzled Martell, who transports up to four people in his pedicab: "I don't ask for any money. I don't have any rates."
Anyone who attended the Elite Warrior Championship Breakout fight this past weekend to see up-and-coming mixed martial artist Eddie Dahlen (see "Caged Fury," WW, May 23, 2007) got a bittersweet treat. The sweet: Dahlen, in his third amateur MMA bout on his way to the pros, took out opponent Neil Jefferson with a TKO after a series of blows to the head. The bitter, for those who might have blinked: The scheduled three-rounder was over 91 seconds into the first round.