Thorns Set to Play for Third Championship: The Portland Thorns could become back-to-back National Women's Soccer League champions this week. After defeating the rival Seattle Reign on Sept. 15, the Thorns will be the first team in league history to play for a third championship. Winning that match—which begins at 1:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 22, at Providence Park—would add a third trophy to the team's 2013 and 2017 titles. Since the NWSL's founding in 2013, the only other team to win two championships is FC Kansas City. (That franchise ceased operations last year.)
School District Did Not Inform Parents of Privacy Breach: Portland Public Schools did not inform parents that a research project conducted by Portland State University graduate students using classroom data probably violated federal privacy laws. The district says that's because it doesn't know which classrooms were affected. The breach was first reported by WW after a graduate student said he faced retaliation for raising concerns about the project ("Invasion of Privacy," WW, March 7, 2018). In July, the university determined using student data without parental consent was probably a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. But PPS spokesman Harry Esteve says PSU did not tell the district which classrooms were affected—because doing so would reveal information about the graduate students, which is also federally protected. "Since this came out," Esteve says, "we've set up additional safeguards to try to make sure this doesn't happen again."
Former Adviser to Liquor Agency Sentenced for Tax Evasion: A federal judge Sept. 17 sentenced the owner of Portland dispensary chain Cannabliss & Co. to seven months in prison for tax evasion. U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Billy Williams says Matthew Price lived a "double life" as he advised the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on cannabis regulations but failed to pay his personal and business taxes on income made selling the drug in Oregon. Price joined the OLCC's Recreational Marijuana Technical Advisory Retail Subcommittee in 2015 and offered advice on crafting the state's rules governing the recreational cannabis industry. The subcommittee met four times in 2015, but Price only attended half the meetings. It made recommendations on rules governing transportation, marketing, consumer health and point-of-sale tracking.
Columbia River Crossing Architect Returns: Normally, the comings and goings of state bureaucrats don't attract much attention. But when the Oregon Department of Transportation rehired Kris Strickler on Sept. 14, the news, first reported by The Oregonian, intensified speculation that Oregon is once again getting serious about replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River. Washington state officials have been keen to restart that project; Oregon less so. Strickler served as director of the Columbia River Crossing Project from 2011 to 2014, as the highway departments of Oregon and Washington spent nearly $200 million. Strickler then took a job as the southeast regional administrator for the Washington Department of Transportation. Travis Brouwer, ODOT's assistant director, says his agency has not re-engaged in the CRC and Strickler's hire "has nothing to do with the CRC."