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June 4th, 2008 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Put down the duct tape and read this.

     
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DUNNIT: Tre Arrow.

• After proclaiming his innocence for years, environmentalist icon Tre Arrow (see “Tre Arrow, the Straight Arrow” WW, March 30, 2005) pleaded guilty at U.S. District Court in Portland Tuesday, June 3, to two counts of arson. Under a deal with prosecutors, Arrow, 34, admitted to firebombing gravel trucks at Ross Island and logging trucks near Eagle Creek in 2001 in exchange for a prison sentence of 6 1/2 years. That includes credit for the four years he’s spent behind bars in Canada and Portland. Several of Arrow’s 20-plus supporters at the hearing told Murmurs they still believe Arrow is innocent. “It would be totally against his character,” says Portland filmmaker Courtney Scott. Arrow’s sentencing is set for Aug. 12.

• In a bizarre legislative hearing last week, longtime Capitol administrator Dave Henderson “resigned.” Henderson, an at-will employee who’s run the Capitol building since 1995, says Democratic leadership “told me they wanted to go in a different direction,” but they wouldn’t elaborate. House Republican spokesman Nick Smith calls the move a botched “political firing” and like what D’s accused R’s of trying in 2005, when then-House speaker Karen Minnis threatened longtime House Clerk Ramona Kenady’s independence. One clue: Henderson acknowledges one of the subcontractors he employed for the ongoing $35 million Capitol renovation used non-union workers, but he says union members did more than 90 percent of all work. Spokesmen for House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D-Portland) and Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) declined to comment, terming the flap a “personnel matter.”

• Add the Portland City Council to the list of local officials opposed to moving the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department from downtown Portland to suburban West Linn. Critics of the proposed move blast the idea of taking an agency serving 2,000 immigrants a month to an office park far from public transportation. But last week’s letter from the City Council may have come too late, says Bill Lesh, a regional spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration—the agency that acts as the feds’ real-estate agent. “It would have been nice if the Portland City Commission had urged the PDC to help us find a location [in Portland] years ago,” Lesh says. “This has been going on for 10 to 12 years.”

• Former Intel exec Kirby Dyess, chair of the state Board of Higher Ed, won’t return for a second term. Dyess, who supported Republican Ron Saxton in the 2006 gubernatorial race, says she wants a higher level of university independence than Gov. Ted Kulongoski. “I hadn’t heard from the governor [about reappointment] and needed to commit my time to other things,” says Dyess. A spokeswoman for the Democratic governor says her boss appreciates Dyess’ service and is “disappointed” she’s leaving.

• Up in Seattle, The Stranger is suffering from accusations that a former staffer committed plagiarism. The paper has removed from its archives all work by Nate Lippens after determining some of his work is awfully similar to stuff written by others. This is only worth mentioning because the Seattle paper owns the Portland Mercury, whose former managing editor, Phil Busse, had a similar problem when he had a piece pulled from Salon.com after editors learned he plagiarized it (see “KO’d on Salon.com,” WW, Oct. 3. 2001).

 
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