GOV. BROWN RECALL DEADLINE LOOMS: The latest effort to recall Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown faces an Aug. 31 deadline to submit 280,050 valid signatures. The current effort, led by Oregon GOP chairman Bill Currier, has reported spending just $22,000 so far, a pittance in signature-gathering terms. Although there are rumors circulating in Salem that the signature gathering has been far more successful than four previous stabs at recalling Brown, GOP insiders are skeptical that Currier will come up with the goods this time. "Overall, I'd say there's a slim chance," says one GOP insider. "But the GOP is such a goat rope that I wouldn't bet on it."
THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON WANTS DORM PAYMENT: The University of Oregon's new housing policy is causing concern for students and their families as the school year opens amid a pandemic with a hybrid model of online and in-person classes. Students learned Aug. 21 they have until Sept. 1 to commit to dorm rooms, even if in-person classes are canceled. Dorm contracts "will remain in effect regardless of the University's mode of delivery of courses." The contracts will be canceled if UO is forced to clear the campus. UO spokeswoman Kay Jarvis says the university is trying to be as flexible as possible and emphasized parents can cancel existing contracts up to Sept. 1.
FACEBOOK REMOVES PAGE OF PORTLAND PROTEST ORGANIZERS: As part of its Aug. 19 purge of "anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, U.S.-based militia organizations and QAnon," Facebook removed the page for Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front—a group of youth activists instrumental in organizing Portland protests for the past three months. The organization has also at times celebrated property destruction and encouraged confrontation with police. Reporter Nick Martin, who writes for The Informant, first tweeted Aug. 19 that Facebook removed PNWYLF's page. The group confirmed its page had been taken down in an Aug. 19 tweet. Activists called the ban an attempt to suppress left-leaning voices and said it drew a false equivalence between anarchists and violent right-ringers. "For months, Donald Trump has explicitly blamed anarchists for the countrywide wave of protest precipitated by persistent police violence in the United States," the petition says. "Today, [Facebook's] decision to ban publishers who provide a venue for participants in protests shows that they are taking their cues about what should constitute acceptable speech from those at the top of the power structure." A Facebook spokesperson did not respond immediately to WW's request for comment.
POLICE BLAME PROTESTS FOR UNSOLVED ROBBERIES: Portland police say nightly protests are curtailing detectives' ability to respond to a string of cannabis shop robberies. Last week, WW reported that Portland-area weed stores have been the target of at least 47 break-ins since late May—a rate of one burglary every other night—and three armed robberies ("Bud Snatchers," WW, Aug. 19, 2020). Police say they don't categorize property crimes by the type of business that gets hit, but bureau data shows burglaries are up 21% this year from 2019, rising from an average of 349 to 423 a month. Police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen says the bureau has 109 open robbery cases. "However, most of the Police Bureau's detectives are working the protests and not able to actively work their cases," Allen says. "It adds an extra challenge that certainly has an impact on their ability to investigate, identify suspects, and build criminal cases against them."
Correction: This story originally gave an incorrect date on the deadline for the recall campaign to submit signatures. It is Aug. 31, not July 31.