Wrangling is getting downright nasty in the lawsuit filed by dozens of investors against Portland venture capitalist and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Craig Berkman (see "The Talented Mr. Berkman," WW , Jan. 25, 2006). Documents filed last week show Berkman's attorneys are going after their client's ex-wife, wine merchant Karen Hinsdale. They claim she maliciously aided investors in their pursuit of Berkman. An underlying issue: the couple's 2002divorce settlement, which investors want access to for info about Berkman's personal finances. Unlike the open divorce files of most Oregonians, that settlement is sealed .
Multnomah County has dropped a key question from its initial job applications: Have you ever been convicted of a felony? The move this month came after the Portland-based Partnership for Safety and Justice lobbied county Chairman Ted Wheeler to make it easier for reformed criminals to reintegrate into society. The county will ask about criminal history later in the hiring process and will decide its relevance on a case-by-case basis, county HR director Travis Graves wrote staff in a memo. Writes Graves: "Asking the question so early in the process is unnecessary and discourages people who may be the best candidate for the job from applying ."
Lewis&Clark College isn't entirely indifferent to Measure 49, which would restore many land-use protections stripped by voter-approved Measure 37. Law School Dean Robert Klonoff has urged Measure 49's opponents (as well as foes of Measure 50) to clarify the use of his predecessor's name in their literature. But despite the kerfuffle over whether ex-dean Jim Huffman's name misleads voters into thinking L&C has an official position on the measures (it doesn't), the school would be affected by what voters decide Nov. 6. The college has a Measure 37 claim in Umatilla County (see "Grapes of Cash," WW , July 4, 2007) that would divide 3,900 acres into 19-acre "farmettes." And M49 would substantially limit that claim, according to David Hunnicutt of the anti-49 group Oregonians in Action.
Another dubious victory for the creative class! Portland is the country's second-bloggiest city , after Austin, Texas, with a disturbing 14 percent of adults either reading or "writing" a blog in the last month. So says a marketing survey released last week by Scarborough Research. What are we blahh-ging about? A random sampling of local Web journals shows: Taco Bell (free tacos!), canceling Oregonian subscriptions for the "eleventy-zillionth time," traffic congestion, 9/11 (or was it?), "my fourth blogiversary," pumpkins, and how "my new haircut makes me look like a stupid little kid ." Thank God we have broadband.
Check your local telephone pole for tips on dealing with police. The self-described "radical police accountability group " Rose City Copwatch is putting up posters in Southeast Portland with advice on how to avoid getting arrested . Four different posters advise readers on their right to refuse searches, to decline to talk to police, to get a lawyer rather than answer questions, and to observe police in action. The posters debuted a year ago in North and Northeast Portland.
Norris Lozano , the controversial CEO of the local investment banking firm Portland Family of Funds, is out . See wweek.com for more about that and the death of past WW cover subject Jim Mast .
Jim Mast , whose investment scam cost friends and fellow hoops aficionados more than $4 million (see "Hoop Schemes," WW , Nov. 8, 2006), was found dead of natural causes on Saturday, Oct. 24, in his daughter's Clackamas County home. Mast was due to enter federal prison next week to serve a 51-month sentence. The scam run by Mast, 43, also led to convictions for mail fraud and money laundering.