ALL ALLEN, ALL THE TIME!
In an effort to fill up empty bleacher seats and cash in on parking fees at the Rose Quarter Coliseum, City Council passed a revenue-sharing plan last week to make Portland more homey for a pro hockey team. The Rose Garden--built and owned by the Paul Allen Company--was designed to support a pro hockey team in conjunction with the Blazers--also owned by Allen.
If Allen or the NHL decide to bring a team to Portland, the incentive would net the city an additional two million dollars per season from parking fees and a percentage of ticket sales. But if the team loses money, Portland will fork over half their earnings--up to one million dollars per season--to the team.
Contrary to popular belief, the initiative didn't originate from town hall, but rather the Oregon Arena Corporation (yes, the Allen-owned business that manages the Coliseum). Erin Hubert, Executive Vice President of the Blazers, says the incentive will let the NHL know Portland is serious about acquiring a pro team. How soon a pro team comes to Portland in now "a matter of fit and timing," says Hubert. ANNA SIMON
With fatigued disgust, the local police monitor watchdog, Copwatch, released its review of the new Independent Police Review Division (IPR). Every few months, the IPR releases a quarterly report summarizing their reviews of alleged police abuses and cases of misconduct. But according to Copwatch, these reports omit vital information, like case summaries and outcomes. Critics are saying that such incomplete and lame reports only underscore the feeling that IPR has shown no improvement from the much-maligned PIIAC it replaced last year.
Notably unreported by IPR, adds Copwatch, are problems that occur during hearings. These include failure to contact witnesses who would support the citizens' complaints about police abuses, or reports that IPR director Richard Rosenthal allegedly gave misleading legal advice to complainants in one case and several times, asked leading questions to police representatives.
For the full Copwatch report, go to www.portlandcopwatch.org or call 503-236-3065. ANNA BOND