The best shortish news items in Portland.

  1. The Port of Portland paid a $325,000 settlement in April to a female firefighter who says a male colleague sexually assaulted her during a training trip in Texas last fall, according to a story the nonprofit news agency InvestigateWest published jointly with The woman—who left her job as part of the settlement—was a 10-year veteran of Portland Airport Fire & Rescue, which serves Portland International Airport. The alleged victim said she was assaulted by port firefighter Jason McCann during a September 2014 training trip to Texas. McCann (who declined to be interviewed for the story) has been on unpaid leave. Meanwhile, police in Texas continue to investigate. The port threatened to discipline other firefighters who raised money for McCann in the presence of the alleged victim’s husband, who also works for the port. In April, the husband received a $15,000 settlement for the resulting anxiety, depression and stress. Port officials say they take the assault allegation seriously, but they refuse to release documents related to its investigation.
  1.  A big Portland law firm wants to know what state legislators have been telling the news media about the spraying of weed killers from the air. Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) unsuccessfully pushed bills this year to restrict aerial spraying. On July 7, attorney Greg Corbin of Stoel Rives filed a public records request for all communications between Dembrow, Lininger and reporters from The Oregonian and Oregon Public Broadcasting, which have reported on spraying’s health dangers. Corbin, whose firm represents timber companies, didn’t return WW’s calls for comment. Arran Robertson, spokesman for the environmental nonprofit Oregon Wild, says the records request looks like a warning shot for lawmakers. “It shows that the industry is willing to drop some money,” Robertson says, “to make sure the status quo is maintained.”
  1. What happens when you allow corporate branding in public parks? You get ad wars. A 2½-foot Nike swoosh that the Beaverton apparel giant paid to maintain on an electronic race clock in Duniway Park faces an uncertain future now that Nike competitor Under Armour is moving into the former YMCA building next door. Last week, the city said Under Armour had offered to upgrade Duniway in Southwest as well as Lents Park in Southeast. In exchange, the company gets to display its logo in both parks. Under Armour also asked the city whether the Nike swoosh in Duniway must stay. Nike responded by asking the city for its correspondence with Under Armour. Parks spokesman Mark Ross says a 1996 agreement allowing Nike to display its swoosh at Duniway expired in 2000. The logo remains, Ross says, “because it would take money to replace it.” Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter declined to answer WW’s questions.

WWeek 2015

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