Portland Is Getting a Sixth Quadrant
A sixth quadrant in Portland? That may sound absurd, but it's coming—and city officials say it's a matter of public safety. The Portland Bureau of Transportation launched a process this month to officially add a new section to the city, called South Portland, as a way of making it easier to direct emergency vehicles to addresses in the sliver of Portland east of Naito Parkway but west of the Willamette River. The east-west addresses in the area currently start with zero. That's difficult for the city's 911 system to handle, and adding the new sector would eliminate the zeros. The change won't take effect immediately; the current timeline is for South Portland to debut between 2020 and 2025.
GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Flies Into Trouble
There are now nine Republicans vying for the GOP nomination for governor. One entrant with an interesting résumé has already fallen afoul of campaign rules. Greg C. Wooldridge of Southwest Portland, who once commanded the Navy's Blue Angels, has been using photos of himself in uniform and a military jet in campaign materials. He retired from the Navy in 1997. The U.S. Department of Defense rules for candidates, active and retired, are clear: Any use of photos in uniform must be accompanied by a disclaimer that it does not constitute a DoD endorsement. Wooldridge's spokesman, Jonathan Lockwood, says the candidate was unaware of the prohibition and will comply.
Soda Tax Fizzles Again
After spending more than $100,000 this year and $855,000 last year, proponents of a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened soft drinks abandoned hopes this week of putting the tax on the November 2018 ballot. As first reported by WW, the Coalition for Healthy Kids and Education Committee, which only last November moved its target from May to this November, say now is not the right time to join cities such as Seattle, Berkeley and Philadelphia, which have already passed such taxes. The soda industry has made it clear it will spend whatever is necessary to defeat such a tax. "While there will be no ballot measure in the current political cycle, our diverse and broad coalition remains committed to working toward reduced soda consumption," said campaign manager Terri Steenbergen in a statement.
Hardesty Picks High-Profile Housing Advisers
Portland City Council candidate Jo Ann Hardesty has named three high-profile advocates to advise her on housing policy: Ibrahim Mubarak, who helped found such homeless villages as Right 2 Dream Too; Maxine Fitzpatrick, executive director of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc., a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland; and Margot Black, who helped found the renters' rights group Portland Tenants United. The selection of Black is significant because she resigned her leadership post with PTU last month after charges of racism by a black activist; she is now working to elect one of two black women in the race. "One of the things I love about all three of these people," Hardesty tells WW, "is their deep commitment that those who are on the margins are included and part of the solution."