Portland Braces for Street Clash: Washington U.S. Senate candidate Joey Gibson is hosting a right-wing rally on the Portland waterfront Aug. 4, and Gibson has suggested his supporters in the group Patriot Prayer will bring guns. "We've always had guns at the rally," Gibson said in a video on Facebook. "Everyone should be carrying around guns at all times." Berk Nelson, a staffer for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, tells WW the city cannot disregard the state's open carry law. "Unless he's on federal property, that's the only way we can actually take weapons away from anybody," Nelson says. "There's nothing police can do to take weapons away from lawful gun owners." The last Patriot Prayer rally in downtown Portland led to a violent riot that sent five people to the hospital. Perversely, the prospect of violence is likely to increase turnout. A large coalition of antifascist protest groups, organizing under the name POPMOB, short for "popular mobilization," plan to confront Gibson and his far-right allies, a men's fraternity called the Proud Boys.
Ballot Measure Would Require Vote on Tolls: State Sen. Julie Parrish (R-Tualatin) has found a new way to push back on the interstate highway tolls proposed for the Portland metro area. She's backing a proposed initiative petition for the 2020 ballot that would require Oregon voters to approve any tolls on existing highways without new construction. "I've heard more about opposition to tolling than just about any other matter from constituents in the last few years," Parrish writes on Facebook. "I don't believe you should have to pay a toll on roads we've already built just to go to the store for a gallon of milk."
Budget Consultant Suggests City Overhaul: A consultant hired by Portland City Hall to analyze the city's budget process offered a backdoor approach to giving the mayor more power. In a June 16 report, former Multnomah County chief operating officer Bill Farver recommended diminishing the authority of city commissioners as well as the independent City Budget Office. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has long favored amending the city charter, says he first plans to try to make other, less controversial changes suggested by the consultant this year, focused on finding a new avenue for public input, setting budget numbers earlier and shifting the way bureaus approach the budget.
From the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: Willamette Week took home eight prizes at the 2018 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Awards, including three first-place awards for arts criticism, photography and special sections. The annual contest drew from a field of nearly 700 entries submitted by 55 publications nationwide. Visual Arts editor Shannon Gormley won first place in the Arts Criticism category for a trio of reviews. For the second year in a row, WW's Going Coastal magazine, our guide to the Oregon Coast, topped the Special Sections category. Daniel Stindt took home a first-place prize for Best Photography. His images captured a dramatic range of Portland life: political brawls on the waterfront, people living in so-called "zombie RVs," and Iggy Pop.