Our Oregon and the consumer activists who led the 2007 Legislature to crack down on predatory lenders have cast a big money-changer from our temple. Legislation capping interest rates for payday loan outfits led South Carolina-based Advance America to announce it would close its 45 payday loan shops in Oregon.
Pink used to be a four-letter word. But in the name of fighting breast cancer, pinkness has morphed into corporation- and woman-approved cuteness, as evidenced by the 16th annual Komen Portland Race for the Cure. Streets were awash in pink symbols as a record 47,500 participants raced through downtown on Sunday, Sept. 23.
Put away the chain saws in Bridgeton. The Northeast Portland neighborhood has halted the feds' tree cutting (see Rogue of the Week, WW , Aug. 15, 2007) by getting a temporary court injunction and the ear of Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (both D-Ore.). For the moment, at least, a tree grows in Bridgeton.
Critics of Oregon State football coach Mike Riley got more ammunition last Saturday when ex-Beavers coach Dennis Erickson's Arizona State team rallied to beat OSU 44-32. The Beavers blew a 19-0 lead to Erickson's Sun Devils, putting Riley in a painfully familiar spot with Beavers fans—dealing with their laments over Erickson's departure in 2002.
Metro's already-wobbly Convention Center hotel project took one in the shorts last week ("Boon or Boondoggle," WW , Sept. 12, 2007). Influential Portland economist Joe Cortright poked more holes in consultants' rosy analysis than there are in the carpets of the motels now around the Oregon Convention Center.
The Portland Police Bureau's performance review board has recommended the hatchet for Angela Oswalt , whose sexual allegations last year against then-Police Chief Derrick Foxworth (complete with his fantasy emails) prompted his demotion. While Bob Guccione and Larry Flynt battle for publication rights to Oswalt's original charge, Oswalt's union calls the proposed firing a retaliation for the union's own questioning of management.
Jeff Merkley 's U.S. Senate campaign got off to a shaky start. Republicans gleefully noted that the Oregon Democrat's rented campaign van had Washington plates. And The Oregonian revealed Merkley was placing "robo-calls" to voters when, as House speaker, Merkley opposed the use of automated calls to voters on the do-not-call list.