Springwater Corridor Sweep Looks Like a Lawn Party
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales still plans to sweep as many as 500 homeless campers from the Springwater Corridor bike trail Aug. 1. But campers and advocates say they won't leave quietly. Activist group Portland Tenants United says it will organize at least 100 homeless people to "resist" police sweeps along the trail. Other activists pledge to hold rallies at City Hall, create an "economic refugee camp" in another part of the city, and march homeless people into Hales' neighborhood of Eastmoreland. During a July 25 meeting, activists asked Hales if campers could move into the mayor's yard. Margot Black, an organizer with Portland Tenants United, recalls Hales' answer: "'My front yard will be fine,' he said." Hales' spokeswoman denies the mayor made any such offer.
Portland Public Schools Delays Bond Measure
In an abrupt about-face, Portland Public Schools will wait until May 2017 to take its $750 million bond to voters. The School Board had been moving toward placing the bond—which would fund renovation of Lincoln, Benson and Madison high schools—on the November ballot. The sudden switch is further fallout from the scandal over lead in PPS water that resulted in Superintendent Carole Smith's resignation after nearly nine years on the job. Board member Paul Anthony says he expects fierce November opposition to all new taxes from foes of Measure 97, the statewide corporate tax measure. "I think a lot of people expect a sizable rebound effect," he says.
Tim Kaine Raises Dwight Holton's Prospects
Hillary Clinton's selection of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as her vice presidential running mate could mean career advancement for a Portland power couple. Kaine is married to Anne Holton, sister of former acting U.S. Attorney for Oregon Dwight Holton, who ran unsuccessfully for Oregon attorney general in 2012. Dwight Holton, who now runs the Lines for Life substance-abuse-prevention nonprofit, is married to Mary Ellen Glynn, former spokeswoman for President Bill Clinton. Holton has long sought the U.S. Attorney for Oregon post, but says he's not thinking about his job prospects. "It's the last thing on our minds," he says. "We're focused on doing everything we can to get Hillary and Tim elected."
Portland Plotting to Boot Cars
These boots were made for locking! This week, the Portland City Council is scheduled to move forward with a plan to allow parking-meter readers to put boots on cars that have numerous unpaid parking tickets, making them impossible to drive until owners agree to pay up. Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, who backs the plan, says boots are cheaper than towing and impounding cars. "Towing," says Novick, "imposes an unnecessary additional penalty, which obviously is especially burdensome for people with modest incomes."