Murmurs: It's Not All About Us.

  1. Last December, Mayor Charlie Hales exchanged sharp words with Uber executive David Plouffe when Plouffe called to tell him the ride-hailing app was launching in Portland in defiance of city rules. The confrontation resulted in a landmark deal that will allow Uber to return this month. Hales and Plouffe—the Obama presidential campaign manager who now runs Uber’s national expansion strategy—will face off again, this time in front of an audience. The two will talk April 30 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as part of an evening discussion on the sharing economy presented by TechFestNW, sponsored by WW. The panel will also feature executives from app companies Instacart (grocery delivery), Rover (peer-to-peer dog boarding) and Spinlister (bicycle rental). Tickets are $30 at
  1. Plouffe will no doubt be asked whether Uber will disclose data on ridership when the company and another car-sharing service, Lyft, come to Portland. The City Council is scheduled to vote April 15 on a 120-day program—called “Taxis Gone Wild” by Commissioner Steve Novick—that will temporarily deregulate “for-hire” vehicles. Portland wants Uber’s and Lyft’s data to help the city write rules governing the taxis and ride-hailing services. Uber and Lyft, however, haven’t yet agreed to share data. The city, meanwhile, is ready to give Uber permission to use its controversial “surge pricing,” which spikes fares during peak periods.
  1. Last week, WW reported on big raises for Portland Public Schools administrators and close advisers of Superintendent Carole Smith (“Help For Her Friends,” WW, April 1, 2015). Other media picked up the story, and we’ve now published an online database at that shows salaries for PPS central-office workers earning more than $70,000 a year since 2007, when Smith became superintendent. See how job titles and pay rates have changed under her leadership.
  1. Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: WW staff writer Nigel Jaquiss last week won one of journalism’s highest honors, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal, for stories on former Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes. The stories started last fall (“First Lady Inc.,” WW, Oct. 8, 2014) and triggered a federal criminal investigation into influence peddling, which led to Kitzhaber’s resignation Feb. 18. “This small news organization punched way above its weight, taking on a powerful governor and his fiancee,” the IRE award judges wrote. “Jaquiss’ work stood out due to his clear and fair writing style, persistent legal advocacy for records and unflinching reporting.”