ACE DITCHES JEFFERSON
Last Friday, March 24, Pastor James Martin of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church sent a letter to Portland Public Schools, pulling his controversial, church-backed Academy of Character and Ethics (ACE)—a proposed public alternative school, slated to open this fall—out of Jefferson High School. ACE had hoped to co-locate at the recently reorganized North Portland high school. "However, over the past few weeks, it has become apparent to us that there are numerous internal conflicts requiring resolution," Martin wrote. ACE is still tentatively scheduled to open, just not at Jefferson.
Martin's note might satisfy some of ACE's critics—those who were worried that the alternative school might compete with Jefferson's new programs. But ACE's other critics—those concerned that a church is so heavily involved in a public school, and those disturbed by Mt. Olivet's past support of anti-gay Measure 36—are still fighting the proposal. AMY JENNIGES
CITY ENTERS FUR FIGHT
As the battle between the retailers at Schumacher Fur and animal rights activists intensifies, it appears the City of Portland is now becoming involved, whether it likes it or not.
City Commissioner Randy Leonard is reportedly urging the company to change the way it deals with the weekly Saturday protests in front of the downtown store, or even move to a less central location.
The protests started late last year, during the holiday shopping season. The Schumachers have responded with tactics that some consider patronizing—on the most innocuous end, holding a weekly "Protest Sale," and on the less innocuous end, posting manipulated photos of the protesters that say things like "All Protesters Should Be Beaten, Strangled, Skinned Alive, Anally Electrocuted."
On Wednesday, April 5, store co-owner Linda Schumacher is scheduled to testify before city council to urge the city to do more to protect the company from those bad, bad protestors. The meeting, which begins at 9:30 am at city hall, is open to the public. SCOTT MOORE
SAVE THE DATE!
Don't forget—the Mercury's election forum is April 13. Check next week's paper for full details!