Airbnb Deal Limits City Inspections: The city of Portland announced a deal last week with home-rental marketplace Airbnb. City Hall got a win: Beginning in January, the company will hand over the names and addresses of Airbnb hosts and homes in Portland, along with other details. That will allow Portland officials to crack down on short-term rental operators who don't have city permits. But Airbnb says it got something in return: an end to city safety inspections of homes as a condition for a permit. Airbnb spokeswoman Laura Rillos says the company will begin the application process itself, then send host information to city regulators. City officials say there will be random inspections after permits are granted.
Trial Sets the Stage for Terry Bean Case: On Sept. 11, Kiah Lawson goes on trial in Lane County on charges he sexually abused a 15-year-old boy in Eugene in 2013. Lawson is a former boyfriend of Portland real estate investor and Democratic Party fundraiser Terry Bean ("Terry Bean's Problem," WW, June 3, 2014). Bean and Lawson, now 30, were initially set to stand trial in 2015, but the alleged victim refused to testify then. He subsequently changed his mind after his attorney allegedly stole most of a $220,000 settlement Bean had paid him to keep quiet. Lawson's trial and its result could have significant implications for Bean's trial on the same charges, which is set for November. Lawson's attorney did not respond to a call seeking comment.
School District Settles Big-Ticket Personnel Lawsuit: Portland Public Schools' insurance company opened its checkbook last month to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed last year by Yousef Awwad, the district's former deputy superintendent. Awwad claimed he was fired because he opposed the hiring of Superintendent Donyall Dickey, whom the district hired and immediately let go in 2017, and because he questioned the propriety of Dickey's successor, current Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, working without a contract. PPS agreed to settle the case in August for $675,000. "I am proud of the work I did for Portland Public Schools," Awwad said in a statement. "We appreciate all [Awwad]'s efforts on behalf of the district's students and we wish him much success," PPS said in a statement.
Neighborhood Fails to Block Senior Housing: The Northwest District Association faces another setback in its effort to reduce the size of an affordable housing project for seniors in the Alphabet District. The association has repeatedly appealed the September 2018 decision by the city's Historic Landmarks Commission to approve the 148-unit complex at 1727 NW Hoyt St. In November, the City Council declined to overrule the commission, and the neighborhood association appealed to the state's Land Use Board of Appeals, which ruled Sept. 9 that the city had decided the matter properly. The association now has the right to challenge the decision in the Oregon Court of Appeals. What it has succeeded in doing: delaying the project for a year.