Jack Pollock

HAPPY TRAILS

Last Friday, July 13, City Hearings Officer Gregory J. Frank ruled that SK Northwest can no longer continue to block the completion of the Springwater Trail along the east side of the Willamette River.

The company, along with the owners of the neighboring Portland Spirit property, just south of OMSI, have long argued that the city can't force them to allow the trail to run through it. Frank, though, ruled that the requirement is well within the city's rights.

"What it means is that Portland's trail requirement is reasonable and appropriate," says Evan Manvel, director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

The decision can still be appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals—the deadline for such an appeal is August 2.

It's still unclear how long it'll be before the Springwater Trail is completed. Currently, there are four properties blocking the trail, and one of them has agreed to allow it to run through. In the meantime, cyclists and pedestrians will still have to traverse inner Southeast industrial roads in order to get from OMSI to the rest of the Springwater Trail. SCOTT MOORE

PARENT TRAP

On Friday, July 13, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Eric Bloch ruled that same-sex couples should have the same automatic parental rights that married heterosexual couples enjoy—but noted that the recently passed Domestic Partnerships state law would remedy the constitutional violation of the couples' rights (that is, if the law isn't sent to the ballot and revoked by the voters).

The case, Parman v. Oregon, concerned a lesbian couple, one of whom gave birth to the couple's two children, conceived via artificial insemination. Husbands of women who conceive via artificial insemination automatically become the legal father; lesbian partners, because they cannot legally marry the biological mother, do not automatically become a legal parent and must undergo a second-parent adoption to secure those legal rights.

Bloch ruled that "assigning benefits based on marriage, while not permitting same-sex couples access to these benefits, constitutes illegal discrimination against certain families," according to Basic Rights Oregon. AMY J. RUIZ

RENT-A-COP ACTION

Street Roots is calling on Portlanders to write to the mayor and demand more oversight for the private security guards patrolling Portland's streets and parks ["Trust Me, I'm a Rent-A-Cop," Feature, May 3].

The paper found that nearly 1,000 park exclusions have been issued in Portland public parks since November by private security guards working for Portland Patrol, Inc.—who are dressed like real cops and carry guns, but have no public oversight. "The idea that a private institution, in this case, Portland Patrol, Inc., has the capacity to enforce public policy that is upheld in a court of law without the public knowing their training procedures or what discretion security guards are using is unacceptable for Portlanders," says Street Roots Director Israel Bayer. MATT DAVIS