Schnitzer Snags Wapato and Sees Shelter: Property magnate Jordan Schnitzer is the newest owner of Wapato Jail—and will offer the never-used facility to developer Homer Williams to open as a homeless shelter. Developer Marty Kehoe bought the property last week from Multnomah County for $5 million and has sold it to Schnitzer, whose company owns 24 million square feet of commercial real estate. Schnitzer in turn will offer to lease the jail to Williams, who has been seeking to open homeless shelters across the city. WW broke news of the sale, and the Portland Tribune reported Schnitzer's plan for the site. It's another revival of the business community's dream that Wapato could aid the homeless. "What will warm my heart," Schnitzer tells WW, "is if we drive out there months from now and there are people getting services."
Washington County Race Is a Battle of Billionaires: The race for an open district attorney's seat in Washington County is shaping up as a battleground between the national criminal justice reform movement and the Oregon law enforcement establishment. Records show the Oregon Law and Justice Political Action Committee bought nearly $40,000 of television advertising time last week for the benefit of reform candidate Max Wall. That PAC, as Oregon Public Broadcasting first reported, was established earlier this month by Whitney Tymas, a Virginia former prosecutor-turned-political consultant who has worked closely with New York billionaire George Soros to support reform DA candidates across the country. Meanwhile, WW has learned, Nike Chairman Phil Knight, who like Soros is a multibillionaire, has committed at least $25,000 to Kevin Barton, a senior deputy DA in Washington County and the candidate who is running with the support of 15 Oregon DAs.
Eudaly Serenades the Business Lobby: After an April 17 budget meeting in the mayor's office, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly broke out a gold, cordless karaoke microphone she carried in her purse to express in song her reaction to meeting with the Portland Business Alliance. PBA and the mayor's office are negotiating an increase to the business license tax. Eudaly sang "You Don't Own Me" on her way down the stairs late that evening. "I think the title is self-explanatory," she tells WW of her song selection. "To be clear, it was almost 5 pm on a Tuesday, and the building was nearly empty. I was regaling the security guards and my own staff."
Chilean and Israeli Cannabis Experts Head to Portland: International cannabis experts are among 25 speakers on the roster for Cultivation Classic, the only organic cannabis competition on the planet. They include Nitzan Solan, one of Israel's first medical-grade cannabis producers, and Pablo Melendez Musa, who runs the only licensed cannabis producer in Chile. The event, produced by WW, takes place May 12 at Revolution Hall. Tickets can be purchased at cultivationclassic.cc.