The Portland Thorn

Steve Novick charmed voters with his prickly brilliance, gumption and wit. The bloom is off.

Cover Story Back when Steve Novick was in grade school, teachers were still allowed to spank troublesome... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Making The Law Pay

The Attorney General’s favorite Portland law firm is cleaning up financially. It’s also run afoul of a federal judge.

News Stories Nearly 3,000 Oregonians with disabilities have waited more than three years for their... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

A House Named Suh

The planned teardown of a football star’s family home in Irvington raises doubts about neighborhood preservation.

News Stories From the looks of it, the house at 2602 NE 13th Ave. is nothing special.  It’s... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by ANTHONY MACUK

Murmurs: Government Transparency, At $18,000 A Pop.

Murmurs Elephant rights activists are getting under the not-so-thick hides of Oregon... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: Why are Portland's walk and transit scores so low on Walkscore.com?

Dr. Know Portland has a large and beefy bike score on Walkscore.com. But I... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH
 
 

The Portland Thorn

Steve Novick charmed voters with his prickly brilliance, gumption and wit. The bloom is off.

Cover Story Back when Steve Novick was in grade school, teachers were still allowed to spank troublesome students. Novick was in fifth grade when his teacher asked his mother for permission to paddle the ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Making The Law Pay

The Attorney General’s favorite Portland law firm is cleaning up financially. It’s also run afoul of a federal judge.

News Stories Nearly 3,000 Oregonians with disabilities have waited more than three years for their day in federal court on a potentially groundbreaking civil rights case. In a sweeping class action lawsu ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Murmurs: Government Transparency, At $18,000 A Pop.

Murmurs Elephant rights activists are getting under the not-so-thick hides of Oregon Zoo officials. Last summer, regional government Metro, which runs the zoo, quoted The Northwest Examiner an $18,000 bill ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

A House Named Suh

The planned teardown of a football star’s family home in Irvington raises doubts about neighborhood preservation.

News Stories From the looks of it, the house at 2602 NE 13th Ave. is nothing special.  It’s a two-story home, white with red trim and a brick arch over the front porch. The grass is scruffy, the shr ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by ANTHONY MACUK

Dr. Know: Why are Portland's walk and transit scores so low on Walkscore.com?

Dr. Know Portland has a large and beefy bike score on Walkscore.com. But I was stunned by our walk and transit scores. We’re below Seattle, and even Los Angeles! What gives? —Troy I realize we’ve ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Thunder Dome

There are already runaway costs for a state Capitol remodel that few people know about.

News Stories Peter Courtney usually gets what he wants. As president of the Oregon Senate for 12 years, Courtney, 71, has amassed more influence than almost any other legislator in state history. The Democ ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Decamped

The mayor’s office calls the Eastside Esplanade unsafe. Will Hales’ homeless policies make a difference?

News Stories James Noel has seen a lot of changes in his neighborhood, which consists of a narrow sidewalk against a chain-link fence that runs along Southeast Main Street, with the northbound ramp to Inters ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by ANTHONY MACUK

Hotseat: Earl Blumenauer and Peter Defazio

Two Oregon congressmen—divided over free trade—disagree about what a Trans-Pacific deal would mean.

News Stories President Barack Obama jetted to Portland last week to use the city and the world headquarters of Nike as backdrops in his push for a sweeping new free-trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim coun ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Next: Good Humor Trucks Selling THC On a Stick.

Murmurs State lawmakers are in the weeds (sorry) over how to fine tune the state’s voter-approved laws on legalized marijuana. One debate seems to be ending: Oregon will have “dry” cities and coun ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: What’s up with the erupting volcano off the Oregon Coast?

Dr. Know What’s up with the erupting volcano off the Oregon Coast? When will it break the surface and form an island? Will the new land be part of Oregon, or up for grabs to whoever wants to plant th ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Feed the Beast

Schools get billions from the state every year. That number is growing fast. Here’s why it’s never enough.

Cover Story $7.2 billion is a lot of money. It’s enough to buy every Oregonian a new MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone 6. Or enough to buy every school district in Oregon a $36 million, gently used Gulfstr ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

A Driveway Moment

New sharing apps help you rent your driveway. Just don’t tell the city.

News Stories For two years, Steve Gutmann found a way to make a little extra cash. His house sits in Southeast Portland’s Richmond neighborhood, two blocks from Hawthorne Boulevard. He knows parking is a ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by ANNA WALTERS

All Light, No Heat

The state allows scofflaw tanning salons to remain operating.

News Stories The thousands of Oregonians who use tanning salons to get bronzed expect the facilities to follow the state’s health and safety rules. Most salons do. However, state records show there’s ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Hijacked Hyatt

The fiercest opponent of a Convention Center hotel now wants to take control of it.

News Stories Hotel financier Gordon Sondland has been fighting for a decade to stop construction of a headquarters hotel at the Oregon Convention Center that will compete with his business. As CEO of Pro ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Dr. Know: Why is it so hard to execute convicted murderers?

Dr. Know We can euthanize animals—even elephants—without incident. “Assisted suicide” seems to work. So why is it so hard to execute convicted murderers that some states are reviving firing squ ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Murmurs: Here’s The News—Don’t Tell The Auditor.

Murmurs An emotional neighborhood battle from 17 years ago is surfacing in a contentious fight for a Portland Public Schools board seat. In 1998, PPS board candidate Amy Kohnstamm joined Arlington Heights ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

New Class

Our picks for 2015 School Board candidates who can bring about meaningful change.

Elections Far more students are graduating from Portland Public Schools than 10 years ago. Several major school renovations are about to start
... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by WW Staff

Faceoff

The city of Portland wants to put body cameras on its cops. Good luck getting to see the video.

News Stories Mayor Charlie Hales wants Portland police to have body cameras. He’s also fine if it’s really difficult for you to see the video the cops record. The city of Portland has been the drivin ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Loss of Principals

The Portland School District is seeing large turnover—and increasing drama—among the heads of its schools.

Schools On paper, Sara Gandarilla seemed the perfect fit for Rigler Elementary School. Gandarilla—who took over as Rigler principal last fall—came armed with four years of bilingual teaching exper ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Cheat Sheet

Our look at uncontested 2015 School Board races.

Elections WW doesn’t offer endorsements in uncontested races. But here’s a glimpse at who else is running in local school board races. Portland Public Schools Zone 7, Southeast Portland Mike Rose ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Dr. Know: If right-wingers question Obama's eligibility for the presidency, how can they support Ted Cruz?

Dr. Know The right-wingers carried on about Obama supposedly being ineligible for the presidency, so how can they be supporting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for president? Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban f ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Murmurs: The Dope For Our Stories Comes From All Over.

Murmurs Oregonians who are paranoid about large, out-of-state marijuana companies dominating the state’s legal weed market now have more reason to worry. State lawmakers are considering a way to keep �� ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Fierce Little Scratches

How Mexican heroin dealers and Russian addicts collided in Portland: An excerpt from Sam Quinones’ new heroin saga, Dreamland.

Cover Story The two worlds couldn’t be more different. The young men of Xalisco toil in the sugarcane fields outside of town, nestled in the hills of southwestern Mexico. They dream of making enough m ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Hot Air

Pilots say the Port of Portland’s plans to sell land for a power plant next to the Troutdale Airport include a fatal flaw.

News Stories Mike Rhodes fell in love with flying nearly 50 years ago at the Troutdale Airport while on a school field trip, and from his first flight, he knew he wanted to be a pilot. Today, Rhodes, 61, a ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Tough Times For Ted

State Treasurer Wheeler finds his agenda stymied and his future at a crossroads.

Politics Until recently, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler’s political future looked bright. He had risen quickly from being a reform-minded chairman of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners to overs ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Hotseat: Brendan Kennedy

The founder of legal weed’s biggest investor, Privateer Holdings, wants the door to Oregon kept open.

Marijuana Brendan Kennedy has $82 million to spend on weed. He wants to make sure he can blow some cash in Oregon. Kennedy is a Silicon Valley veteran who launched a tech firm and ran a company to acquire ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH, NIGEL JAQUISS

Murmurs: The State Police, Seeing Green.

Murmurs Legal weed, schmegal weed: Oregon cops still want more money to go after marijuana crimes. The Oregon State Police have recently asked state lawmakers for a $3.9 million budget increase for 2015-1 ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: If pot is legal July 1 but stores can't sell it until a year later where do I get it?

Dr. Know I can have pot for my own consumption starting July 1, but the stores to sell it to me won’t open for another year. How am I supposed to get my hands on the green stuff? —Inquiring Minds I ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Housebound

Washington state offers an alternative to sending parents to prison. Is Oregon willing to try it?

News Stories Michelle Newell busted up her family in 2010 with a repeat conviction for writing bad checks to cover a drug habit. The state sent her to Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Ore ... More

Apr 15, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Déjà Blue

Protesters of police violence march away from City Hall empty-handed.

City Hall The protest group that shut down Portland during the holiday season to condemn police killings of unarmed black men is back on the streets.  This time, Don’t Shoot Portland protested ... More

Apr 15, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Hotseat: Chris Borland & Todd Trigsted

The former NFL player and a local filmmaker discuss the violence in America’s Game.

Sports Last month, Chris Borland shocked anyone who watches football by announcing he was walking away from a career in the National Football League—and millions of dollars—after only one year in t ... More

Apr 15, 2015 12:01 am by ANNA WALTERS

Murmurs: Get the Checkbook—Stat.

Murmurs It’s unusual to hear about an unpaid $1.5 million tax bill with anyorganization—let alone Oregon’s medical school and research hospital. But on March 2, the Internal Revenue Service filed a lien ... More

Apr 15, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: What does a “Managed Service Point” sign on a mailbox mean?

Dr. Know A little “Managed Service Point” sign was affixed to our mailbox last week. What the heck is that? I asked our postman and he said it’s to “improve efficiency.” How does that work? �� ... More

Apr 15, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Bad Boy

Steve Buel is cranky, irritating, stubborn—and a surprising force for change in Portland Public Schools.

Cover Story Greg Belisle demanded an answer. Steve Buel refused to give him one. It was Jan. 27, 2014, and Belisle was holding the gavel as co-chairman of the Portland Public Schools board. He and the oth ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Ganja Police

The OLCC may have reached too far in seeking to create a new class of police: Pot Cops.

Marijuana Just when you thought it was safe to smoke marijuana in Oregon, along comes a new breed of law enforcement officer: the pot cop. The pot cop can bust retailers for selling buds to people under 2 ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Risky Business

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s state attorney was alarmed by a business group’s help for first lady Cylvia Hayes.

Politics The federal investigation into allegations of influence peddling by former Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes is heating up. Sources tell WW that a grand jury in Portland has be ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Smoke Screen

Why won’t the Portland Fire Bureau give a whistle-blower documents that have already been made public?

News Stories Rob Cruser enforces rules that save lives. Cruser, 51, is a fire inspector for Portland Fire & Rescue. That job takes him into buildings where the public gathers for big events—such as n ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Murmurs: It’s Not All About Us.

Murmurs Last December, Mayor Charlie Hales exchanged sharp words with Uber executive David Plouffe when Plouffe called to tell him the ride-hailing app was launching in Portland in defiance of city rules. T ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: Why can't TriMet schedule the MAX trains so that I don't just miss my connecting train?

Dr. Know My commute entails changing MAX trains at the Rose Quarter. Nearly every time, I arrive just in time to see the connecting train leaving. Why can’t TriMet use Transit Tracker data to adjust ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Burns Notice

How the firing of Oregon’s pot czar exposed the OLCC’s secret talks to end medical weed as we know it.

Marijuana On a sunny Thursday last month, Rob Patridge, the man who will soon be Oregon’s top regulator of legal weed, and Anthony Johnson, the person who gave him that power, met over iced tea at Russe ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Bank Shot

More and more, credit unions look and act like banks. So why don’t they pay taxes?

News Stories Robert Stuart enjoys a paycheck most bankers would envy. Stuart, 47, is CEO of Oregon’s second-largest financial institution, with 26 branches, 501 employees and assets of $3.6 billion. His ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Help For Her Friends

Portland schools boss delivers pay hikes to officials who work for her.

Schools Last summer, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith pocketed a nearly 28 percent pay raise, bringing her annual salary to $247,000.  At the time, most Portland School Board ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by BETH SLOVIC

Murmurs: Dribbling Out A Little Justice.

Murmurs Score one for girls’ high-school basketball. On March 30, the Portland Public Schools board voted 4-1 to hear the gender discrimination complaint that PPS dissed girls’ teams by routinely making t ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: Can I break my lease if the bakery next door affects my gluten-free lifestyle?

Dr. Know I moved to Portland partly because of its friendliness to my gluten-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, my new apartment is near a bakery, and now that it’s windows-open season, the wheat vapors ar ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH

Joint Ventures

Starting a pot business? These companies want to help.

Cover Story Alexa Divett is getting a contact high. Divett runs Maya Media Collective, a Northeast Portland company that is part of the commercial frenzy surrounding the legalization of marijuana in Orego ... More

Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

Spending Time

County Commissioner Loretta Smith uses her office budget to benefit constituents—and her own ambitions.

News Stories No elected official in Portland spends more time with constituents than Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith.  Whether flipping pancakes at the Hollywood Senior Center or personall ... More

Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am by NIGEL JAQUISS

Pay to Playground

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz proposes overhauling fees on developers to fund parks.

City Hall City Commissioner Amanda Fritz is proposing a massive increase in some of the fees the city charges developers of new homes and commercial buildings. Fritz is proposing an overhaul of the fees ... More

Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

The Share Up There

A battle between West Hills neighbors over vacation rentals shows where the sharing economy could be headed.

Housing Policing the “sharing economy” as it evolves in Portland has been challenging for city officials. Rulemakers continue to grapple with what to do with Uber, and short-term vacation rental s ... More

Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am by ANNA WALTERS

Murmurs: News To Chew On.

Murmurs What do you give the zoo that has everything? A dead water buffalo. That’s the unusual offer Clackamas County heavy-hauling magnate Terry Emmert made the Oregon Zoo this month. Emmert owns the P ... More

Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am by WW Editorial Staff

Dr. Know: If I disconnected my downspouts, why am I getting charged for stormwater?

Dr. Know In 2006, I took the $52 incentive to disconnect my downspouts. Nine years later, I’m still getting charged $29 for “stormwater.” Apparently I was supposed to fill out a special form in 2 ... More

Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am by MARTY SMITH
 

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