He's baaack! After what he referred to in a statement as a 14-month "leave of absence," financial wunderkind Andy Wiederhorn walked out of federal prison Tuesday in Minnesota. Four months shy of his 40th birthday, Wiederhorn will re-assume the reins of the Portland-based Fog Cutter Capital Group. Contrite after his June 2004 guilty pleas to charges of filing a false tax return and paying an illegal gratuity to a pension plan official? "I believe it was wrong for the government to prosecute me," Wiederhorn says.
Talk around The Oregonian is not of columnist Margie Boulé's recent nuptials but when the paper will publish results of the "assignment" that kept Boulé out of the paper much of the summer. Word is that the assignment involved Boulé's visits to the woman former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt had sex with 30 years ago when the victim was underage. The woman also was invited to the columnist's wedding.
Was the Vue a victim of summertime downtown shootings or its owners' sentiments? Once one of the few Portland clubs to play hip-hop, the Vue has shut down less than two months after the airing of comments made by its management, brothers Ramez Makboul and Rami Makboul, in a private email ("A Whiter Vue," Aug. 17, 2005). The email to Mayor Tom Potter and Chief Derrick Foxworth expressed the opinion that African-Americans should stay in Northeast Portland, sparking a customer boycott. "We told people in the community this was not a place they should be going," says Starchile, a local hip-hop promoter. Rami Makboul declined to comment.
Some Portland cops are chafing at the recent promotion of Dorothy Elmore from captain to assistant chief, citing her record of angry outbursts. Elmore was written up in 1997 for domestic violence after she slashed her husband's tires and left threatening messages on his answering machine. Suspecting her husband, also a police officer, of having an affair, she told him she'd shoot him if he came home that night. "I'm sure I said that," Elmore tells Murmurs. "And I'm sure I was extremely upset when I said it. That's what happened." She says the incident stemmed from a painful personal experience and doesn't reflect the patience and skill she brings to her new management position. Elmore has 24 years on the force and was captain of the school police for two years.
If you see a spring in your cop's step, it may be because Alan Graf, cop critic, lawyer and KBOO host, is leaving town. Graf was among the lawyers who extracted a $300,000 settlement from the city-plus $545,000 in attorneys' fees-for the Police Bureau's mishandling of a 2002 anti-Bush protest. The self-described "Hippie Lawyer" recently married Eleanor Ingram, who used to live with Graf at a famous '60s commune in Tennessee called The Farm. And that's where the happy couple is moving back to live. The fact that Ingram's ex-boyfriend was the drummer in the guitar-playing Graf's band there vindicates one of the lawyer's long-held beliefs. Laughs Graf: "The guitar player always gets the woman." Graf will still visit Portland to handle Social Security cases, and the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center he helped to found will remain.
Exclusive Web Murmurs!
Where next, Wyoming? PacifiCorp has been whining about a new Oregon law that actually forces utilities to pay the taxes it collects from customers. The company has muttered about moving jobs to more hospitable Utah where it also has large operations. But shazam!-last week the Utah Consumer Counsel, a state agency, demanded the utility return $225 million in allegedly bogus taxes collected since 1999.
As a mammoth construction crane hoisted the two 29,000-pound Lovejoy Columns into their new home last Wednesday, local architect/sculptor James Harrison looked on with something like fatherly joy. The columns' placement in the courtyard of a condo high-rise on Northwest 10th Avenue culminates Harrison's eight-year effort to save the historic pieces. "We're installing a ruin," Harrison said of the project, which takes the best two of 10 painted columns salvaged from the demolition of an old ramp leading to the Broadway Bridge. Restoration of the column's mythology-tinged paintings from the late 1940s is expected to be completed by next summer; the Regional Arts and Culture Council is hunting for photos depicting the paintings in their original state.