Good morning, Portland. Link time.
First up is this week's feature by tour guide/writer Joe Streckert, out in print as of yesterday. It's good: "I became an unlicensed teacher, got laid off, and found a tour guide job on Craigslist. That was in 2010, and it ended up being one of the most formative gigs of my life. I learned more than I ever thought I would about the city I used to complain about. I learned that teenage me was an idiot and that this place does have a sense of identity. And I learned it by seeing my hometown through the eyes of a tourist."
Check out this long news story by Dirk VanderHart about how Oregon's mental health hospitals are being flooded with criminal defendants. It's expensive and making things worse, critics say.
Remember the campaign finance reform measure you more than likely voted for last November? A Koch Brothers-backed group is taking to the courts to try and stop Multnomah County from implementing it, we reported yesterday.
Portland's finance office doesn't want to go to city council for approval on consulting contracts because, the office says, it wastes times. In the Oregonian: "A proposal before council Thursday would increase the value of consulting contracts that the city's chief procurement officer could okay without council approval from $100,000 to $500,000. The change would allow bureau directors and Chief Procurement Officer Christine Moody decision making authority over 96 percent of consulting projects. This means 95 contracts—or more than $9.5 million worth of deals—approved by the city council in the last 17 months would have been selected without council oversight."
"A Beaverton strip club subjected a 15-year-old girl to sexual harassment and discrimination while she worked there illegally as a dancer in 2014 and should pay her $1 million in damages, according to an administrative law judge's ruling," the Oregonian reports. "The announcement Wednesday comes a month after the owners of Stars Cabaret reached a $1.25 million settlement after a 13-year-old girl was forced to perform sex acts on customers in a backroom at the same club in 2012. "
In the Portland Tribune: "The future of the Alberta Rose Theatre is uncertain, as building owner Robbin Mayfield has decided to sell the building more than 30 years after buying it as an investment and fixing it up himself. Mayfield has given Joseph Cawley, who owns the theater — a tenant in the building — the option to buy it. A crowdfunding campaign is under way, with a goal of raising $300,000 by Sept. 1."
Also in the Tribune: "The hub of Portland's bustling water sports community, which draws up to 1,000 users a day in the summer, is being pushed out by a rent hike. Come August 2019, the nonprofit Portland Boathouse has two options: relocate to a building just across the parking lot from its current location at 1515 S.E. Water Ave., or build a new $3 million community boathouse."
A Portland woman wants the city to create a commuter ferry service, KATU reports: "Spencer is trying to raise awareness of the possibility for a passenger ferry service in Portland. In theory, it would run as far south as Oregon City and perhaps as far north as Vancouver. It would make stops at communities and neighborhoods in between to pick up daily commuters on their way to downtown Portland."
OPB on Oregon wildfires:
Federal and state agencies are investigating a string of wildfires in southeastern Oregon with a potential link to military training exercises.
Seven small fires ignited across state and federal lands on July 11, all attributed to human activity — a suspicious pattern that indicates they could be connected, according to federal officials.
“The thing that’s a little bit different with this is the number that occurred simultaneously,” said Brett Fay, Assistant Regional Fire Management Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Investigations are regular, but the concentration of number of ignitions from this, pretty rare.”
For fuck's sake, Don.