Review Finds PSU Research Broke Federal Law: An internal review at Portland State University has found that a research project that gathered data from public K-12 school computers violated federal law. As first reported by WW this winter, professors at the Graduate School of Education improperly asked student teachers in public school classrooms across Portland to collect and analyze demographic information and test scores ("Invasion of Privacy," WW, March 7, 2018). The university now concedes the project did not have proper authorization to use the data, and probably violated the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects student data. "We're taking this very, very seriously," says Marvin Lynn, dean of the education school. "Safeguarding data is very important. We'll have ongoing training to ensure these errors don't happen again." A university spokesman says the 10 school districts affected by the research project have been notified of the violation.
End of Occupy ICE Nears: More than a month after a group of protesters set up camp outside the Portland offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, City Hall issued notices of a sweep that could come as soon as July 25. The Occupy ICE PDX group successfully forced the shutdown of the Portland office for a week, but on July 23, a faction of protesters decided to leave the camp. Hours later, Mayor Ted Wheeler said he would send in Portland police to clear out the remaining occupiers. The planned sweep comes after alt-right U.S. Senate candidate Joey Gibson and his entourage visited the camp July 20, raising concerns about public safety.
Loretta Smith Picks Up Emmons Endorsement: Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith faces a difficult task in her November runoff for Portland City Council against former state Rep. Jo Ann Hardesty (D-Portland). Hardesty outperformed Smith 46 to 21 percent in the May primary and recently picked up an endorsement from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the city's largest public employee union. Smith has hired her former chief of staff, Elizabeth Mazzara Myers, to be her new campaign manager. This week, she also unveiled the endorsement of architect Stuart Emmons, who finished a surprising fifth in the Hardesty-Smith primary. Although Emmons got less than 10 percent of the vote, he attracted support from West Hills and business contributors, actually raising more money than Hardesty. "The choice for this November couldn't be clearer," Emmons said in a video announcing his endorsement.
Housing Developments Overcome Trump Tax Cuts: Four North and Northeast Portland affordable housing projects found themselves with funding gaps after President Donald Trump's tax cuts ("Mind the Gap," WW, May 16, 2018). Now three of them have obtained funding to proceed. The largest, 189 units on North Argyle Street in Kenton, still has a $5.9 million funding gap, but the city says it's looking at ways to fund the project. "As of this moment, we have not reached a conclusion," says Portland Housing Bureau spokeswoman Martha Calhoon. "We should have more to report soon."