60-Day "Recess" For Volunteer Board Overseeing Portland Police Changes


The community volunteer board overseeing changes to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) will go on a 60-day "recess," according to an a agreement recently ratified by the city and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

The hiatus is "to evaluate how to create a better process that fulfills the intention of community involvement in police accountability," the Mayor's office said today.

The Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB) was created following the DOJ's 2014 settlement agreement with the city after an investigation of PPB abuses and its treatment of mentally ill people. It's supposed to be 15 members who "independently assess implementation" of the settlement agreement, but it's been a mess recently, with contentious and disruptive meetings, with the group's desire to "divorce" the Chicago academics leading it and to seek an amendment to the agreement to restructure the group, and with COAB membership dropping below the eight-member threshold needed to have productive meetings. Members have dropped out and have yet to be replaced—only one of the five COAB members nominated by Portland City Council is still there, Portland Copwatch's Dan Handelman pointed out today.

And now the COAB is closing up shop until October 20 so the city can "collaborate with stakeholders on how to strengthen the community engagement process" in the settlement agreement, wrote Portland City Attorney Tracy Reeves to the DOJ on Friday.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder No Longer Running for Congress; Michigan GOP Being a Real Nellie Oleson About It

Melissa Gilbert in 1975. Yeah, Id totally vote for her.
Melissa Gilbert in 1975. Yeah, I'd totally vote for her. NBC Television Network via Wikimedia Commons

Why can't the good TV stars feel endlessly compelled to run for office?

For those following at home, Melissa Gilbert, who played Li'l Half Pint herself on the Little House on the Prairie teevee series, threw her bonnet into the ring to run for Congress in Michigan, but withdrew her candidacy citing health concerns. The local GOP (which I can only assume is led by Nellie Oleson) contested her withdrawal from the race, which happened too late for her name to be removed in time for the primary (she won). Here's the Detroit Free Press:

A Michigan election board on Monday declined to act on the state Republican Party's request that it overturn a decision allowing "Little House on the Prairie" actress Melissa Gilbert to remove her name from consideration for a Detroit-area congressional seat.

At a meeting in Lansing of the state Board of Canvassers, representatives from both the state Republican and Democratic parties spoke regarding the decision from the Secretary of State's office allowing Gilbert to take her name off the November ballot for Michigan's 8th Congressional District.

In May, Gilbert said she was ceasing her run as a Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, due to health reasons. But as it was too late at that point to remove her name from the August primary ballot, Democratic party officials waited until after the primary — which Gilbert won as the only Democrat running — to ask for her removal and replacement on the November ballot with assistant Macomb County prosecutor Suzanna Shkreli of Clarkston.

I for one am crushed that Gilbert is ending her bid. It's sad news for bonnet-heads everywhere. Feel better, MG. Ma and Pa Ingalls would surely be rooting for you. Let's cheer up by watching the opening credits of Little House on the Prairie, which will make you feel extremely old, but you'll also probably laugh at about 37 seconds in:

Now who's the Nellie Oleson? (It's totally me.)

A Ghost Helped Write Johanna Warren's New Track “circlenot astraight”

Gretchen Heinel

This morning Consequence of Sound premiered a new track from Johanna Warren, the ominously beautiful piano dirge "circlenot astraight." It's the second single off the Portland artist's forthcoming Gemini I, the first in a pair of twin albums that reflect the Tarot cards "the Lovers" and "the Devil." Warren told Consequence of Sound that she owes some credit to a spooky visitor who helped her write the song. Read the full story and listen here.

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Watching Hillary Clinton Open that Pickle Jar on Jimmy Kimmel Just Proves (Insert Your Craziest Working Theory)

This is not the funniest thing I have ever seen Hillary Clinton do on Jimmy Kimmel's show, but it's the part of the show last night everyone's talking about:

People talking about it include this dude ("There was no safety seal pop during #HillarysPickles") and that same dude again ("#HillarysPickle, for when Bill can't keep his in the jar") and wow that guy is thinking a lot about that pickle jar ("Has vagina. Opens (pre-opened, no safety seal pop) jar of pickles. That's it. That's all she's got").

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Hope You Like Movies in Your TV Shows!

This is the trailer for the upcoming Lethal Weapon TV series. Yes, they made a TV show out of Lethal Weapon in the year 2016, a good two decades after this particular franchise hit its expiration date. "Hoorah!" we hear an insistent, hopeful FOX wheeze. "The buddy-cop crime comedy is evergreen! The wise-crackin' banter between Riggs and Murtaugh will never grow old!" To that we calmly reply, "Let's all watch this trailer starring the elder Damon Wayans in the Danny Glover role, and Clayne Crawford in the Mel Gibson part, and then decide if it looks like essential weekly viewing."

A THOUGHT: Since all buddy-cop stories are essentially the same—and since Lethal Weapon was largely responsible for updating the template—why does this particular rehash even need the Lethal Weapon name on it? They could have just called the cops Tibbs and Merlaw, titled the show "Deadly Hurt-Tool," and we all would have been none the wiser. Lethal Weapon The Show premieres on Wednesday, September 21 on FOX.

Now then. This is the trailer for the upcoming The Exorcist TV series, starring Geena Davis and Cameron from Ferris Bueller. Yes, that obscure '70s horror movie is joining the ranks of cinematic gems like Limitless and Uncle Buck and making its way to the smaller screen. This looks... this looks boring as shit. I'm sorry, Lethal Weapon TV show, I take it all back. You are the very height of relevance compared to this Bad Idea. The Exorcist, But, Like, for TV premieres on Friday, September 23, also on FOX.

And hey, it's possible I'm dead wrong about this reheating of The Exorcist, or at least about calling its relevance into question. Its pedigree—creepy 1973 film gets the TV treatment—also applies to the beleaguered but still fascinating looking Westworld, which premieres on HBO on October 2. I'm looking forward to that one.


The Stranger Things Soundtrackers Are Coming to Holocene

Alex Kacha

As a newspaper with its own style guide (an admittedly slender one that is chiefly devoted to swear words), we run roughshod over most bands' annoying typography. (Sorry, fun., but you are not e.e. cummings.) We'll make an exception, though, for Austin, Texas synth quartet S U R V I V E, as their spooky analog tone-poems don't just evoke the '80s, they create worlds of their own. And if the cost of that is depressing my space bar a few extra times, so be it.

Two members of S U R V I V E were responsible for the Stranger Things theme and soundtrack, but the four-piece band is its own entity, an entity that's releasing a brand-new album on Portland-based label Relapse Records on September 30. What's more, the band is touring the album—the catchily titled RR7349—and will be at Holocene on Tuesday, October 11.

So while would be a huge mistake to go to this show and start yelling requests for music from Stranger Things ("play 'Barb's Theme'!"), S U R V I V E makes music that fans of that show will definitely be into. Take a listen to the evocatively named "Wardenclyffe" and get tickets before they sell out.


Savage Love Letter of the Day: Natural Vs. Unnatural Threesomes

Originally posted on December 10, 2014.

I love your column, Dan, but I wanted to clear something up. Recently someone wrote to you that they—or their spouse—wanted to have a threesome, but only if it happened "naturally." You said that was impossible: "Three-ways don't happen that way," you said. But I'm proof that they do. I am a female in my mid-20s, and I've been openly bi since I was 12. I'm not particularly fond of threesomes, but I go with the flow. I've already had three happen naturally, and one "almost" that I stopped due to "timing issues." (Three MFF and one FFF.) My advice: If you can get a three-way massage or a game of strip-anything going, you're in for the gold. Alcohol really helps, too.

Girl Gone There

My response after the jump...

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Free the Weed, and Drop the Charges


If at some point in the past you were charged with, and convicted of, a crime relating to cannabis in Oregon, two things: 1) That sucks and 2) There may be help to get those charges removed from your record—for free.

The Portland-based Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) and Marley Naturals have teamed up for "Rise Up Oregon Expungement Day" on August 27. Within two hours, participants can complete all steps needed to file their request for expungement with the State of Oregon, including covering all costs and fees.

People convicted of cannabis offenses prior to legalization suffer the negative consequences of a criminal record, including being denied employment, financial aid, housing, and in some cases, the right to vote. So while the cannabis industry profits, this select group of people targeted in the failed War on Drugs continue to suffer the consequences. Is that cool? It is not.

The event will be held at the Village Ballroom, 704 NE Dekum, August 27 from 11 am to 2 pm. Those interested in participating must register at minoritycannabis.org.

Good Morning, News: Traffic Carnage, Racism, More Clinton Emails, and A Pair of Friendly Old Loons

Not the most hopeful news morning we've ever seen, but let's press on anyway.

The 20-year-old who was allegedly driving recklessly when he ran down a 15-year-old girl on SE Hawthorne last week is from Saudi Arabia, and has been in the US for two years. He attended Portland Community College, but now he's in jail on a $1 million bond, facing manslaughter and reckless driving charges. The whole thing is terrible.


More in traffic deaths: A man who (allegedly) purposefully ran down a black teen in Gresham earlier this month has ties to a white supremacist prison gang. The Merc's Doug Brown has that story.

Here's a new twist in the whole Terminal 1 thing: After a Portland attorney followed through Monday with a threat to sue over the decision to (maybe) make the city-owned plot a homeless camp, City Commissioner Nick Fish is reportedly weighing whether to simply refuse to lease the land to the Portland Housing Bureau. “I’m in no hurry to authorize the lease and have asked for legal guidance on it.”

Park sweeps: The City of Portland is planning to push homeless campers out of both Laurelhurst Park and Delta Park in coming days. The big sweep of the Springwater Corridor has been scheduled for September 1.

Today in Taxes! Oregon hauled in more than $25 million from recreational pot taxes in the first seven months of 2016. We're on pace to hit more than $44 million for the year.

But also in taxes, the Trib interviewed Powell's Books owner Emily Powell, who's one of the loudest local voices speaking out against Measure 97, a $3 billion tax hike on some large businesses. She can't say exactly what the tax would do to Powell's, but she's theorizing bleakness. Count on hearing more from Powell as the vote on that approaches.

By the way, a 20-person citizen panel that spent days hashing over Measure 97 very narrowly voted to support the tax hike, 11 members to nine. It's going to be that kind of race.

Two recent drownings have prompted parks officials to close Kelley Point Park until they can install a bunch of signs to warn people against swimming.

“It’s gouging parents about their children’s lives. It’s not like letting them sniffle. It’s life or death.” The company that makes EpiPens—which are crucial for people with serious allergies—has ratcheted up the price six-fold in the last seven years.

Some loons, just to make us all feel a little better for a minute.
Some loons, just to make us all feel a little better for a minute.

Whoops. Turns out there are 15,000 more emails that have been plucked from Hillary Clinton's account, and they're probably going to be released—at least in part—before the November 8 election.

Those aren't the only e-mails either. A conservative group released a bunch more Monday, provided through a lawsuit, that show how people angled to use the Clinton Foundation to win favors in the State Department. For instance: "A sports executive who was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and whose firm paid Bill Clinton millions of dollars in consulting fees wanted help getting a visa for a British soccer player with a criminal past."

Also, Clinton and Trump are more shady about their health records than most presidential nominees. Particularly Trump, who got a doctor to say he "“will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Yup.

Lastly, the subject line of an email that JUST hit my inbox: "Research reveals porcupines prominent in many South Central Texas caves." You've been warned, Texans.

I can deal with this.


The Portland Man Accused of Murdering A Black Teenager Is Connected to A White Supremacist Gang

Russell Courtier and his girlfriend Colleen Hunt were indicted for the murder of Larnell Bruce. Courtier has an EK tattoo, representing European Kindred, an Oregon white supremacist prison gang
Russell Courtier and his girlfriend Colleen Hunt were indicted for the murder of Larnell Bruce. Courtier has an "EK" tattoo, representing "European Kindred," an Oregon white supremacist prison gang

The white 38-year-old Portland man accused of murdering a 19-year-old African American man fleeing from him in Gresham earlier this month has tattoos indicating he's in "European Kindred," a white supremacist gang based in Oregon. The Mercury has also found several references he and his associates have made online backing up his connection to the group.

Convicted felon Russell Courtier and his girlfriend, 35-year-old Colleen Hunt, are accused of mowing down Larnell Bruce with their Jeep after Courtier and Bruce got in a fight on August 10 outside of a Gresham 7-Eleven store. Courtier and Hunt were officially indicted for murder on Friday and were arraigned this morning. According to a probable cause affidavit for Courtier and Hunt's arrest, Courtier admitted to a detective he intentionally chased down and hit Bruce with his car.

Courtier was out of prison on parole for a gun conviction when he killed Bruce, according to court records.

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NewsCity Hall$$$Homeless

The Proposed Homeless Shelter at Terminal 1 Is Now Part of a Lawsuit

The fight over Terminal 1 has a new home: The courts.

As promised, local attorney John DiLorenzo filed a fresh pleading today in an ongoing legal dispute over how the city spends sewer funds. He says Portland's on the verge of violating it's own rules at Terminal 1, the plot of land at 2400 NW Front controlled by the Bureau of Environmental Services.

As we've reported extensively, BES has been trying to sell that plot at City Council's direction—receiving offers as high as $10 million for the 14.5-acre site. But on August 10, council put the brakes on that process, instead ordering BES to lease the property to the Portland Housing Bureau for at least six months. There are tentative plans to put a large homeless shelter in a 96,000-square-foot warehouse at the site.

The specifics of the lease won't be worked out for months, but there's a decent chance that BES could rent out Terminal 1 for well under market rate. If that happens, DiLorenzo says, sewer utility ratepayers would effectively be subsidizing a project that has nothing to do with their bills. From the new supplemental pleading:

In contravention of the Portland City Charter, the City has:

a. used Sewer Fund monies for purposes not reasonably related to sewer services, including, but not limited to preparing and marketing Terminal 1 for use as a homeless shelter;

b. precluded BES from receiving fair market value (either for sale or lease) for the Terminal 1 property acquired and maintained with Sewer Funds, even after the property has ceased serving any purpose reasonably related to the sewer system, and after BES had marketed the property in an effort to return money to the Sewer Fund;

c. required ratepayers to subsidize services not reasonably related to the sewer system by forcing BES to enter into a lease of the Terminal 1 property for an amount far below market rent.

According to an e-mail DiLorenzo sent to news outlets, the City Attorney's Office is prepared to fend off this motion. Officials have declined to offer insight into any attorney opinions for why the city's actions aren't illegal. Commissioner Nick Fish, who runs BES and opposes a shelter there, has repeatedly suggested the vote could leave the city vulnerable in court.

A determining factor in that question might be how much the housing bureau is required to pay to lease Terminal 1. The resolution passed by council earlier this month set a floor for that rate at $10,000 a month. That's well under market rate—and also less than BES is currently leasing the space for—but there is precedent. As the Mercury's reported, BES leased the property's warehouse for that rate to Nike-affiliated TrackTown USA last year.

DiLorenzo doesn't care about that transaction.

"It appears that the Nike rental arrangement was temporary at best and preceded the bureau’s decision to designate Terminal 1 as surplus property and to sell it for the benefit of ratepayers," DiLorenzo told the Mercury (though, as the pleading he filed today acknowledges, the property was designated as surplus before the TrackTown lease). "This new arrangement conflicts the surplus designation and certainly any opportunities to sell the property for industrial use."

Here's the full filing:

Donald Trump Insists He's "Not Flip-Flopping" On How He Will Screw Over 11 Million Undocumented Workers in the U.S.

But not to worry, Trump supporters. You still have on your side a 12-year-old running a campaign office in Colorado and a terrifying Christian woman who equates voting for Hillary to voting for "death." Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Over the weekend, Buzzfeed ran a story headlined "In Reversal, Trump Indicates To Hispanic Leaders Openness To Legalization For Immigrants." The Trump campaign immediately dismissed Buzzfeed's take as "clickbait journalism." But on Sunday, when CNN asked Trump's new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who was at that meeting with Hispanic leaders, whether Trump still planned to use a deportation task force to remove 11 million people from the United States, Conway said, "To be determined."


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A New Bike/Pedestrian Bridge Is Coming to NW Portland—And Spurring Some Debate

Last year, the Mercury was among the first outlets to report the Portland Bureau of Transportation had a new bridge in mind: A pedestrian-and-bike-only span over I-405 at NW Flanders.

Now, after years of similar proposals, that vision is finally coming to pass. The "Flanders Crossing Active Transportation Bridge" was among projects approved for nearly $3 million in grant funding under the Oregon Department of Transportation's ConnectOregon process, which aims lottery revenue at transportation projects that don't benefit cars.


The bridge idea ranked 21st of more than 75 proposals statewide. The state's handing over $2.87 million for the effort, and Portland's kicking in $3 million of its own. (That money will be drawn from "system development charges," PBOT has said—money that's used to help the transportation system accommodate new users.)

But not everyone's so pleased with the decision to build the bridge, which sits between crossings at NW Everett and NW Glisan that already contain sidewalks and bike lanes—especially at a time when there have been six fatal crashes in the city in roughly the last three weeks.

And not everyone agrees with the criticisms.

PBOT has pitched the bridge as a much-needed amenity, predicting it'll see more than 9,000 users a day in 20 years. It's also called the bridge a possible lifeline for when the Big One hits, since it'll be seismically safe and wide enough for emergency vehicles to cross.

"Right now, there are no crossings like this over I-405," PBOT said in a news release announcing the funding. "All other options for people on foot or bike essentially require crossing freeway onramps. These routes are often congested and do not provide sufficient space for those using active transportation."

Construction might begin in April 2018, the agency says.


Savage Love Letter of the Day: Quick Hits

I’m a big fan, faithful reader or your work, and subscriber to the Magnum Savage Lovecast. I listened to podcast 512, and wanted to write you regarding a specific caller. It was the caller who was a BDSM educator who was hesitant and fearful about how her vocation and choices would affect her daughter.

The gist of your advice was to move. I’ve heard you offer this advice to others in similar situations before. You make it sound so easy. Just move. Then you went on to list more supportive cities—San Francisco (median home value $1,127,400), Oakland (median home value $616,300), Portland (median home value $378,600 and rising), Seattle (median home value $585,400), or Chicago (median home value in surrounding Chicago is $208,300 and rising).

I realize there is a social cost to being openly sex-positive—especially if it affects our kids. However, one needs to be realistic about finding work and being able to afford to live in cities like Los Angeles, New York, or the other cities you listed. Not everyone is so lucky, talented, capable, or rich enough to simply get up and move. There are still a lot of people struggling in the aftermath of the Republican Recession that took hold in 2008. (For many of us the only extended breaks, or “vacations”, we’ve had were the times we’ve been between jobs.)

I suggest instead that those of us who are sex-positive stand up to this negativity, shame, and oppression and do our best to educate. I realize I may be naïve. It’s an uphill battle—especially for the “think of the children!” crowd. But we cannot continue to retreat to scattered enclaves, especially when in the long run it’ll be to everyone’s benefit to let go of the fear and ignorance that for too long has surrounded consensual sexual expression. Those who refuse to see and be appropriately educated must suffer the social cost of losing out on our support and friendship. (Do we really want friends who are shaming and so judgmental?)

Again, for some people my suggestion may be as unrealistic as your advice. I’ll admit that. We could go into the whole lack of appropriate, consistent, quality sex education issue, but I feel I’ve taken enough of your time. Hopefully I’ve made my point.

Keep Up The Good Work

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Ivanka Trump's Interns Share Tips on How To Survive Working For Free For Ivanka Trump

Interns of the world, have you ever found yourself working for free for a lifestyle website that is part of the brand strategy for a collection of affordable career wear that did a reported $100 million in sales in the last fiscal year?

Are you having trouble making ends meet working unpaid in New York City for the daughter of a billionaire presidential candidate, and who is also successful entrepreneur (see above)?

Are you a young woman slogging it out, gratis, for the Trump campaign's putative champion for women?

Then you should probably check out Groupon!

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