Portland-Area Schools Targets of Racism

The blue bubble of Oregon is not immune to ignorance. This month, before and after Election Day, Portland-area schools were targets of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic invective. At Lake Oswego High School, administrators on Nov. 1 discovered a Facebook post from a former student encouraging seniors to "create a club called Ku Klux Klub and find every black kid and sacrifice them." At Reed College on Nov. 12, unknown vandals scrawled messages that included, "The white man is back in power you fucking faggots."

Carole Smith Disliked Even Before Lead Crisis

A poll released by Portland Public Schools on Nov. 9 shows that former Superintendent Carole Smith was deeply unpopular with Portland voters even before the full weight of the district's lead crisis crashed down on her. The poll, conducted June 2-6 just as details were emerging about the extent of PPS's environmental hazards, showed Smith had a favorability rating of 36 percent. The School Board that eventually forced her departure didn't fare much better, though. It had a favorability rating of just 40 percent, according to the Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates survey of 300 voters. By comparison, Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler notched a 70 percent approval rating, and 74 percent of respondents approved of Gov. Kate Brown's performance. Teachers enjoyed the most support, with 79 percent approval.

East Portland's Neighborhood Associations Underfunded

An audit of the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement found that East Portland's neighborhood associations receive dramatically fewer resources per resident from the agency than other parts of the city. The East Portland coalition of neighbors receives $2 per resident while the Central Northeast Neighbors Coalition receives nearly $6 a person, City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero's staff found. Funding "is based on a historical formula of unknown origin," and despite years of repeated studies no remedy has been proposed, the audit noted. During the most recent budgeting process, it was decided not to fix the inequity "until the City Council opts to provide more funding for all community-engagement programs. This approach effectively locks current disparities in place," the audit said. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who overseas the ONI, responded to the audit with a formal commitment "to develop a long-term strategic plan for a more equitable funding strategy."

Give!Guide Donations Top $400,000

Willamette Week's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at giveguide.org. Giving has surpassed $400,000 and 2,000 donors. If you give Nov. 17, you'll be eligible to win a prize package from the Portland Thorns and Timbers.