After School Satan Club Proposed in East Portland
Opponents of an evangelical Christian children's club in East Portland's public schools have filed a request to start an After School Satan Club at Sacramento Elementary. In a facility-use request filed with the Parkrose School District on Sept. 5, the Portland chapter of a group called the Satanic Temple asks to host meetings on campus. The filing follows a WW report last month that Sacramento was one of three schools within Portland city limits hosting the controversial Christian after-school program called the Good News Club. After School Satan Clubs have followed the establishment of Good News Clubs nationwide, including chapters in Seattle, Los Angeles and Nehalem, Ore. Finn Rezz, spokesman for the Satanic Temple, says the club won't actually introduce children to the occult. "Our program isn't trying to recruit kids into Satanism," Rezz says. "The curriculum is more secular humanism. Our perspective is that Satan is a rebel, a questioner." Parkrose Superintendent Karen Gray says she may assign the Satan Club to another school. "I get to make the decision as to which school we have room at," she says.
Lithia Motors Faces Tax Threat and Lawsuit
Lithia Motors, the Medford-based auto dealer that is one of Oregon's largest publicly traded companies, faces pressure on two fronts. Lithia is a high-dollar, low-margin business: It sells a lot of cars but only makes a small profit on each. Last week, Lithia contributed $350,000 to Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales, bringing its total contributions to $505,000—more than any other opponent of Measure 97, which would impose a 2.5 percent tax on a company's Oregon sales above $25 million. Lithia will record sales of about $8 billion this year at 139 dealerships in 15 states. It's unclear what percentage of those sales will be in Oregon. On another front, Lithia faces a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court aimed at the most profitable part of its business—providing financing and insurance for customers. An amended complaint, filed on Sept. 1, says the company is "misrepresenting the large profits they make when arranging financing and providing products." Lithia's attorney, Jeremy Sacks, says his clients "strongly dispute the allegations."
Chloe Eudaly Trails Steve Novick in Cash Race
Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick and challenger Chloe Eudaly approach the November election for a City Council seat with vastly different resources. Novick, who first won election in 2012, has about $88,000 in his campaign account. Eudaly, owner of Reading Frenzy bookstore, has less than $6,000 on hand—an unusually low amount for a candidate trying to unseat an incumbent. But Eudaly's campaign isn't fazed. "We're definitely going to get outspent," says Marshall Runkel, Eudaly's campaign manager. Instead, Eudaly's campaign plans creative spending, including enlisting Portland cartoonist Joe Sacco to create a comic strip for her campaign literature.