PAPPY'S GREASY SPOON REOPENS: Not every Oregon restaurant is waiting on Gov. Kate Brown's OK to reopen dining rooms. Canby police responded to a call May 2 that a local diner, Pappy's Greasy Spoon, was open and operating dine-in services, the Canby Now Podcast first reported. Officers saw eight to 10 people eating inside the restaurant and a waitress standing over one of the tables taking an order. "Please let us finish our meal before you shut it down," one of the diners said, according to a police report. The owner, Mike Merrill (aka Pappy), told officers he knew he was violating the governor's order, "but the to-go meals were not cutting it and he has bills to pay." Merrill said he was using every other table to maintain social distancing, and that all utensils and items were sanitized between uses. "Mr. Merrill is under the belief that coronavirus has been blown out of proportion and the government's attempts to mitigate it are all just a placebo helping citizens feel better," the police report added. "Mr. Merrill agreed to keep his restaurant seating area closed and make orders for takeout only."
NO NEW HOME FOR THE HEARINGS OFFICE: Portlanders who want to appeal land use or city code decisions or protest their car getting towed seek justice in front of a city hearings officer. But last August, City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero told the Portland City Council her office could no longer support that function, explaining it was "understaffed and its caseload is increasing." Responsibility for the office has been a point of contention for years. But on April 29, city commissioners told Caballero, who is independently elected, they couldn't find a home for the hearings office in other bureaus because of potential conflicts of interest. While quibbling with Hull Caballero's contention it is underfunded, the council asked her to keep the hearings office until a charter review commission set for later this year can propose a permanent solution, which would then be put to voters. Hull Caballero says she will respond to the council in writing. "I have been working on this for months," she adds, "and I have not had any member of council willing to solve the problem."
HERNANDEZ IN MORE HOT WATER: Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) has called for the resignation of Rep. Diego Hernandez (D-East Portland) after the Oregon House Special Committee on Conduct held a hearing May 4 in which investigators revealed seven women have alleged he sexually harassed them. "The House Conduct Committee's action today is a very serious development," said Kotek. "I believe Rep. Hernandez should resign from the Legislature." The allegations follow earlier accusations by Hernandez's onetime girlfriend, who sought a restraining order against him before agreeing to dismiss her request. Hernandez says it would be premature to draw conclusions before the investigation is complete. "I firmly reject the rush to judgment when the House's independent investigation has just begun and I still have no information about the complaints," he tells WW. "Tina Kotek threatened my political and professional career when I refused to help her take public employees' benefits away. Now I know what she meant."
MAJOR DEMOCRATIC DONOR RETURNS: Eric Lemelson, winemaker and heir to a patent fortune, has been one of the state's most generous Democratic donors (he gave more than $1 million to a 2007 land use ballot measure). He's been less active in recent years, but records show he loaned $1 million to a new political action committee, Oregonians for 100% Clean Electricity, on March 24. The PAC has not received any other money, and has spent less than $200. Lemelson could not be reached for comment. Brad Reed of Renew Oregon says his group may gather signatures for climate-change initiatives: "That money is meant to support our effort."