Sam Adams Is Back: Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams is returning home. Adams, who served as Portland mayor from 2009 to 2012, moved to Washington, D.C., in 2014 to work on addressing climate change for a nonprofit called the World Resources Institute. Adams left that job two years ago. In recent weeks, he's been spotted at several civic events—and tells WW he's preparing for a full-time return in August. "I am in Portland today," he texts, "riding on the Yellow Line MAX over the Willamette River." He says he is helping family members battle illness. Adams sent a picture of himself sporting sunglasses and a full gray beard.
Portland Politicians Targeted In Racist Screeds: Last week, national media attention focused on President Donald Trump's use of a racist trope to tell four sitting congresswomen to "go back" to other countries. At the same time, two Portland politicians were dealing with similar attacks. Metro Councilor Juan Carlos González and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty both issued statements after receiving racist insults on their Facebook accounts and other social media platforms, as first reported by the Portland Tribune. "When the office of the President makes racist and xenophobic statements, it emboldens our neighbors to attack those of us that are 'foreign,'" said González, who was born and raised in Oregon. He received five Facebook messages implying otherwise. "We are fighting for the soul of this country." Hardesty also received more than a dozen anonymous, racist comments after challenging the Oregon Department of Transportation's policy to use boulders to discourage homeless people from camping on ODOT property. "If you disagree with me," she said, "let's talk like adults."
Local Proud Boy Pleads Guilty to Assault: A member of the far-right group the Proud Boys pleaded guilty July 19 to assault in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor, for his role in a 2018 punch on a Portland sidewalk. Donovon Flippo attacked Tim Ledwith last June along Northeast Broadway, allegedly joined by fellow right-wing brawler Tusitala "Tiny" Toese. Police arrested Flippo and Toese in June 2018, but prosecutors did not pursue charges for more than seven months, until WW wrote that police had access to video evidence and a cooperative victim. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Karen J. Immergut sentenced Flippo to eight days in jail with credit for time served, at least one year of probation, 40 hours of community service, and a $100 fine, and barred him from attending any mass protests in Multnomah County for one year. Flippo and Toese are self-avowed members of the Proud Boys. Ledwith, whom they attacked, has attended antifascist counterprotests opposing the right-wing group. Those protests regularly descend into violence.
New Battle Joined Over Bottled Water: The next Pacific Northwest battle over bottled water is 120 miles northeast of Portland, in the Cowlitz River watershed at the base of Mount St. Helens. In late May, Crystal Geyser applied for state permits to withdraw up to 325,000 gallons a day from the river in Randle, Wash. The Cowlitz Tribe, along with a community coalition called the Lewis County Water Alliance and the nonprofit Columbia Riverkeeper, claims the facility would degrade the environment, harm culturally sensitive areas and affect salmon populations. The fight recalls a similar one in Oregon three years ago: Hood River County voted to ban a Nestlé bottling plant in the Columbia River Gorge town of Cascade Locks after members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde went on a five-day hunger strike at the state Capitol. A spokeswoman for Crystal Geyser did not respond to WW's request for comment.