Murmurs: Evictions Resume Despite Protections

In other news: County won’t attempt vaccine mandate at venues.

Evictions Resume Despite Protections: Landlords in Multnomah County filed 109 eviction cases in July. That’s a number Becky Strauss, an attorney with the Oregon Law Center, says is likely to climb in the coming months. Oregon’s ban on evictions expired June 30. Many of the 109 cases are still unresolved, but thanks to a state law and a county policy, the tenants could have avoided court proceedings by showing landlords evidence they had applied for state assistance to pay their rent. The problem, says Strauss? Many renters don’t know about the policy or how to apply for aid. Each morning since July 30, two county employees have been trying to intercept renters showing up for eviction court at the Multnomah County Courthouse to help them apply for assistance. Soon, county officials tell WW, they will start sending workers door to door to seek renters on the eviction docket: “We knew that if we could have our staff actually present in the courthouse, we could initiate the rental assistance process and prevent evictions at the last possible stage,” says Nabil Zaghloul, director of the county team doing eviction outreach.

County Won’t Attempt Vaccine Mandate at Venues: Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has no plans to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations at bars, restaurants or event venues, she tells WW. As the Delta variant erupts across Oregon, sparking the most new infections the state has seen in a single week, venue owners have called for the county to issue a vaccine mandate for indoor activities, similar to requirements in New York City and San Francisco. Kafoury says the county has no means to enforce such a rule. “For one local government in a metro region to quickly implement a widespread adult vaccine mandate when we currently have no enforcement mechanism or administrative structure in place would be incredibly challenging,” she tells WW. “That said, we are looking at all the potential ways we can increase vaccination and blunt this surge.” On Aug. 17, Providence Park announced that only spectators with proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test result would be permitted to attend Timbers and Thorns soccer matches.

Nike Removes Salazar’s Name From Campus: Nike told employees in an internal memo Aug. 16 that it had renamed the Alberto Salazar Building on its Beaverton campus. Salazar, the Nike Oregon Project coach, was issued a lifetime ban from coaching track and field last month after allegations were substantiated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport that he was emotionally and physically abusive to former runner Mary Cain. Nike has been notably mum about Salazar’s downfall—even after hundreds of Nike employees protested on its campus in the fall of 2019, demanding that the sportswear giant hold Salazar accountable for his actions. Nike’s announcement, which was obtained by WW and not publicly announced as of Tuesday morning, mentioned the justification only briefly: “This change follows the SafeSport decision to permanently ban Alberto from coaching. The nature of the allegations and the finding of the lifetime ban makes it appropriate to change the name of the building.” The building is now called Next%, after a new line of running shoes.

Firefighter Improvises Solution to Weed Theft: An off-duty firefighter with Portland Fire & Rescue achieved something Aug. 14 that Portland police have struggled to do: Douglas L. Bourland solved the burglary of a cannabis store. Just one problem: It was his weed store and his investigative technique allegedly included kidnapping. According to court records, Bourland and two other men allegedly snatched Colby Fleishman from a downtown Portland street on the evening of Aug. 14, later stashing him in a storage facility at an Estacada weed farm. The plan, according to court records, was to get Fleishman to lead the men the next day to product he’d allegedly stolen from Bourland’s business, the Oregon Hemp House in South Portland. But thanks to an observant Uber driver who witnessed the alleged kidnapping and alerted police, the three suspects were arrested and Fleishman was freed. Bourland could not be reached for comment.