Jack Pollock

Sky Tram or Leaky Boat?

Over the course of a few months, the estimated cost of OHSU's aerial tram has gone from $28 million to $55 million. According to an outside audit, that number could shoot up even higher if there are any delays in the project.

While the city and OHSU play a media war over who pays for the increased cost, Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams says the city still hasn't ruled out the possibility of backing out altogether.

Last week, Adams announced that he'd be holding a town hall meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the funding and a possible pullout. But now that Mayor Tom Potter has directed the council as a whole to take over tram decision-making from Adams' office, those plans may have changed. Insiders say that internal power politics may play a major role in the project. SCOTT MOORE

Walker Out, Hill In

After months of campaigning, Oregon Senator Vicki Walker announced last week that she was backing out of the Democratic race for governor. Walker, who was widely seen as Governor Ted Kulongoski's biggest competition, will instead be running for reelection to the State Senate.

Less than a week later, former State Treasurer Jim Hill announced that he'd be stepping into the race. Hill came in second to Kulongoski during the 2002 Democratic primary. SM

Wet Paint

Graffiti, as far as some neighbors are concerned, has exploded lately, speckling every other billboard and blank wall in town. So the city's graffiti czar, Marcia Dennis from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, has been making the rounds of neighborhood meetings lately to pacify residents' aerosol-paint concerns. "At present, it seems there is more total graffiti in Portland than we've seen for a while," Dennis wrote in a follow-up email to neighbors the next day.

Has there been an influx of taggers lately? Nope—it's just been a wet winter, Dennis explains, and cleanups are behind schedule. "Paint-outs [to cover graffiti] are severely reduced when the rain is so steady." AMY JENNIGES