Aaron Renier
ANOTHER MINK COAT, KATZ? Last Wednesday, after gaveling homeless advocates into silence, Mayor Vera Katz went on to a different agenda item--giving herself a pay increase. Homeless advocates had flooded chambers to ask that city council reconsider a camping ban. Enacted a decade ago, the ban outlaws sleeping outdoors in the city. There are roughly 1000 men and women nightly who do not have access to the city's limited shelter space. After advocates applauded in support of one speaker, Katz threatened to shut down the proceedings.

Then, on a later agenda item, the city council members congratulated themselves with a pay increase--Katz will receive 2 percent more annually; council members will receive 1.6 percent. The increase reportedly pads Katz's income by more than $2,000.

A source at City Hall explained the pay increase was intended to mimic wage increases negotiated by the city's union for employees with the police and fire departments. That source also called the pay increase "tacky."

Earlier this year, Governor Ted Kulongoski voluntarily took a five percent pay cut, saying that with so many Oregonians financially suffering, state leaders need to cinch up their belts.

In addition, during a special legislative session last summer, the Oregon State Legislature approved HB 4055, which reduced the salary of each legislator by 7.5 percent. State representatives earn a salary amounting to roughly one-third of Katz'. PHIL BUSSE

OLCC WON'T LET 'EM B The B. Org can't seem to get a break from the OLCC. Two years ago, B. Org owner Rob Schneider was denied a liquor license at his then-new club, B-Complex. At the time, it was suspected that the OLCC was concerned that hiphop and electronic music would attract disturbances.

Now, the latest B-venue has also found itself locked in conflict over OLCC licensing. A few months ago, Schneider acquired the Medicine Hat/B Annex property on NE Alberta. The club has received hearty support from the neighborhood--usually the biggest obstacle between a club and its liquor. Moreover, new neighboring businesses like Thai Noon received liquor licenses without hitches. But it was announced in June that the Medicine Hat's application was denied. At press time, the letter of refusal was still being drafted and the OLCC would provide no official explanation. MARJORIE SKINNER