Wyden Gets a Crack at Trump's Russian Ties
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is finally getting the opportunity he's been seeking since last year to look into Russia and the Donald Trump campaign ("Tinker Tailor Senator Spy," WW, Feb. 22, 2017). On March 30, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on which Wyden serves as a key minority member, will hold its first open hearings in its investigation to "examine disinformation, focusing on a primer in Russian active measures and influence campaigns" in the 2016 presidential election. That puts Wyden near the center of the biggest scandal plaguing the Trump administration. And he's made it clear he wants to follow the money. On March 29, Wyden wrote to Senate intelligence committee leadership requesting "a thorough review of any and all financial relationships between Russia and President Trump and his associates." The Senate hearings are scheduled to start at 7 and 11 am Pacific Standard Time, and can be streamed live at c-span.org.
Nicholas Caleb Goes to Work at City Hall
Nicholas Caleb, an instructor at Concordia University and a lawyer, has scored a job at City Hall—as a staffer to City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. Caleb ran for the Portland City Council in 2014 and made a respectable showing, winning 18 percent of the vote against City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. He started last week in a part-time job for Eudaly, working for the next two months on environmental issues, specifically renewable energy and related policies. "The mayor has a climate agenda that's being compiled right now, and Chloe wants to engage in that process," he says.
Another Police Chief Under Investigation
On March 24, Mayor Ted Wheeler relieved Portland Police Chief Mark Marshman of his duties, placing him on paid administrative leave while the Independent Police Review conducts an investigation. The mayor's office offered no details, but The Oregonian reported that Marshman's deputy may have falsified a training log, signing Marshman into a training session of the Employee Information System—a session Marshman allegedly didn't attend. The electronic system is required under the city's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and is intended to identify officers with numerous citizen complaints or engaged in excessive use of force.
PitchFest Winner Soothes Menopause Symptoms
The winner of PitchFestNW 2017 is Madorra, a Portland startup that uses ultrasound to ease vaginal dryness during menopause. Madorra was selected from 74 startups that pitched high-tech wares before a panel of investors March 23 and 24 at the Portland Art Museum. Those 74 were selected from about 400 applicants for TechFestNW. (Disclosure: TechFest is presented by WW.) "It's really exciting to have won," says Holly Rockweiler, founder and CEO of Madorra, which uses a handheld ultrasound device to relieve post-menopausal vaginal dryness, a condition she says affects 32 million U.S. women. "It's really strong validation that women's health has been overlooked for a long time."
Correction: Murmurs incorrectly stated that Nick Caleb was an instructor at Portland Community College. He teaches at Concordia University. WW regrets the error.