- The race to replace disgraced former Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen heated up last week when Deborah Kafoury unveiled an all-star list of endorsers, including Gov. John Kitzhaber. Her main opponent, Jim Francesconi, responded Nov. 22 by showing off his organized-labor credentials and announcing an endorsement by the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters. What Francesconiâs campaign didnât mention: Heâs the attorney for the carpentersâ union. âTheyâve been a client because they trust his judgment and values,â says Louis De Sitter, Francesconiâs campaign director. âIn some ways, that makes it a greater honor.â
- Anti-TriMet blogger Lane Jensen pleaded not guilty Nov. 22 to 31 counts of telephonic harassment after he allegedly peppered TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt with text messages Oct. 15 (âA Visit From the TriMet Squad,â WW, Oct. 30, 2013). Multnomah County Circuit Court set his trial for Jan. 7, and ordered his laptop and cellphoneâseized by transit police when he was arrested Oct. 17âreturned to him. âBoth in sound condition,â Jensen reports.
- City Commissioner Dan Saltzman has begun making changes at Portland Fire & Rescue since inheriting the bureau from former Commissioner Randy Leonard. Hereâs one: Heâs gotten equipment used to respond to disasters moved out of a building that would fall down in a major earthquake. The fire bureau has been storing two Mass Casualty Incident trailers in the Gideon Building, a 1907 warehouse at 1300 SE Gideon St., since 2008âeven though the building doesnât meet current building codes or seismic standards. Saltzman pointed out the equipmentâs storage as a problem during an August tour of fire facilities, and the bureau moved the trailers Nov. 19. Staffer Matt Grumm says Saltzmanâs experience with the Bureau of Development Services made him âpretty immersed in building codes and seismic updates. He was very attuned to that.â Fire Chief Erin Janssens says the bureau is still using the Gideon Building to store some equipment for disasters, including ladders and body bags.
- This Thanksgiving, please make WWâs Give!Guide part of your traditional celebration. Check out our new website (giveguide.org) and qualify for all manner of incentivesâincluding ice cream, coffee, tacos and croissants. You might even get one of WWâs co-owners (editor Mark Zusman or publisher Richard Meeker) at your door with a special blue G!G reusable grocery bag full of goodies: A to Z pinot noir, grains from Bobâs Red Mill, Stumptown Coffee beans, tea from Steven Smith, and beer from Widmer Brothers. G!G has so far brought in $330,000 from 2,010 donorsânearly 700 of them under 36. Weâre hopefully on the way to more than $2.1 million by our deadline, Dec. 31.