Murmurs: Lottery Delays Sports Betting

In other news: Neighbors privatize Portland Parks programs.

Chinook Winds Casino. (Lizzy Acker)

LOTTERY DELAYS SPORTS BETTING: When the NFL's regular season kicks off Sept. 5, Oregonians will not be able to bet legally on games on their smartphones, as the Oregon Lottery had hoped. Earlier this year, lottery officials pointed to the NFL opener as the likely go-live date for smartphone-based betting. But Kerry Hemphill, the lottery's manager of sports betting, told the Lottery Commission on Aug. 30 that despite having 40 employees working full time on the app, it's still being tested and won't be ready until late September or mid-October. Meanwhile, the Siletz tribe's Chinook Winds Casino last week opened the first sportsbook in Oregon, taking wagers on college football—which the lottery won't do, at least initially. (Chinook Winds does not offer phone-based betting; gamblers must travel to the Lincoln City casino.) Lottery Commission chair MardiLyn Saathoff expressed disappointment with the delay but added, "It's better to get it right."

NEIGHBORS PRIVATIZE PORTLAND PARKS PROGRAMS: In May, the Portland City Council cut funding for the Sellwood Community Center as part of a strategy to address a projected $6.3 million budget shortfall. Neighbors pledged to privately fund the programs once offered by Portland Parks & Recreation. City officials plan to hand over the community center's keys to the private group this week. But residents aren't waiting to start after-school programs. This week, the private backers are hosting a program for 90 kids at Sellwood Park. The preschool program, for which just nine children are enrolled so far, will meet at another building. "It's kind of amazing," says Gail Hoffnagle, a Sellwood resident running the new programs. "The stressful part is making sure we get it right."

ROOSEVELT HIGH SCIENCE LAB STILL STALLED: As a new school year begins, parents at Roosevelt High School remain frustrated by Portland Public Schools' lack of action to build a larger science workspace promised to students in 2016. WW reported in April 2019 that $5 million to build the space, dedicated from 2012 schoolbond contingency funds, was allocated instead to other schools, including Grant High. When parent Scarlett Lynsky pressured the district this summer to rejuvenate the project, the district pledged to begin discussions in August and present a final plan to the School Board in November. Lynsky says she fears the district has backed away from its promise and wants to build general classroom space instead. They "may try to massage community engagement," she adds, "to get the rubber stamp they are looking for." On Aug. 28 the district emailed Lynsky that "our goal is to utilize this process and feedback…to inform an updated [vision] with a parallel updated scope of work by December of this year."

DISGRACED LAWYER POINTS FINGER AT TERRY BEAN'S ATTORNEY: The Lane County District Attorney's Office filed a lengthy motion Aug. 30 in its sexual assault case against Portland real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser Terry Bean. The 30-page motion, first reported by the Portland Tribune, draws on new emails, phone and bank records, and an affidavit by Portland Police Det. Jeff Myers, who describes alleged collusion between Bean's attorney, Derek Ashton, and the attorney for the teenager Bean allegedly molested in Eugene in 2013, when the young man was 15. The case against Bean was originally dismissed in 2015, when the teen refused to testify. Since then, the alleged victim has accused his attorney, Lori Deveny, of stealing the $220,000 Bean allegedly paid him not to testify. Also new in Myers' affidavit: Deveny, who faces separate charges in state and federal court for allegedly stealing from more than two dozen clients, is cooperating with prosecutors and talking about what Ashton and Bean allegedly did. Bean's attorney, Cliff Davidson, said Myers' affidavit is "not evidence but an advocacy piece mischaracterizing numerous witness statements." Bean's trial is set to begin Nov. 13.

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