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November 5th, 2008 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

All the news Phil Busse didn’t steal.

     
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Phil Busse
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Forget about baseball in Lents? City Hall insiders say Mayor-to-be Sam Adams will push for any new minor-league ballpark to be in the Rose Quarter (possibly where Memorial Coliseum is now) rather than the Lents site preferred by Commissioner Randy Leonard and Beavers/Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. Tom Miller, Adams’ chief of staff, recently flew to Kansas City, Mo., to view a new stadium-oriented development there. Adams will soon name a citizen committee to “review” possible stadium sites in Portland including Lents, the Rose Quarter and the Port’s Terminal 1 (northwest of the Fremont bridge). Replacing the Coliseum with a ballpark would leverage the Esplanade, enliven the moribund Rose Quarter and drive traffic through parking garages from which the city gets a cut. Miller was unavailable for comment.

Among those succumbing to final-week election madness: Former Portland Mercury Managing Editor Phil Busse, who left Portland for a visiting professorship at St. Olaf College in Minnesota—a job that apparently allowed him to cruise Minnesota state highway 19, uprooting John McCain campaign signs. He was so proud of this hobby that he wrote a column last week about it for The Huffington Post.

“Yanking out the signs and running like a scared rabbit back to my idling car was one of the single most exhilarating and empowering political acts that I have ever done,” he wrote. St. Olaf and local police were less awed by the visiting prof of introductory media studies. Busse resigned after St. Olaf distanced itself and the cops filed charges of misdemeanor theft—which could mean 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, if he is convicted. (For more, go to wweek.com)

The list of Oregonian newsroom staffers taking the paper’s buyout offer—in the wake of the generally brutal economy and specifically tough times for print publications—is complete. Among the soon-to-be-gone veteran reporter bylines are David Anderson, Erin Hoover Barnett, Maya Blackmun, Holly Danks, Robin Franzen, Holley Gilbert, Sarah Hunsberger, Peter Sleeth and Steve Woodward. All told, the 52 buyout takers equal about 14 percent of the newsroom. Click here to see the entire list of staffers taking the full-timers’ buyout of two years’ pay and healthcare benefits; and for part-timers, two weeks’ pay per year of service and one year of continued medical coverage for the employee.

Move over, Jason Bourne: The FBI office and U.S. Attorney’s office in Portland have confirmed they’re forming a working group to fight Russian organized crime in Oregon (see “The Sopranokovs,” WW, July 9, 2008). Details were sketchy as of press time, but FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele confirmed that the team will include federal, state and local authorities.

Bittersweet results: Democrat Rob Brading narrowly lost two grueling campaigns against former House Speaker Karen Minnis (R-Wood Village) in East Multnomah County’s District 49 in 2004 and 2006. Minnis retired this year but rather than claim the seat he worked so hard for, Brading sat out the election to battle prostate cancer. He’s been in remission for a year and said Tuesday morning that he’ll “watch with excitement” the results, including the expected victory of Democrat Nick Kahl over Republican John Nelsen.

Read more Murmurs and daily scuttlebutt about one of Sen. Gordon Smith’s most desperate donors and TriMet critics’ latest effort to get broken machines fixed.

 
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