Westlund Drops Out
State Senator Ben Westlund of Bend has been spending the summer collecting signatures for his bid to get on the ballot as an independent candidate for governor. Westlund—a former Republican—hoped to challenge incumbent Democrat Ted Kulongoski and his Republican opponent, Ron Saxton. Westlund's recent streak of progressive politics, like pushing for civil unions in the legislature and stumping for universal healthcare, plus an agenda that included a clean-energy proposal, meant that he'd likely pull votes away from Kulongoski.
But on Thursday, August 10, Westlund withdrew from the race, saying he didn't want to be a spoiler. The political rumor mill is buzzing with talk that he may even endorse Kulongoski. AMY JENNIGES
Bias Crimes Flare Up
According to police sources, a Portland Jewish family had a swastika drawn on their car in grease pencil on Monday night, August 14—the latest in a string of bias crimes reported to the Portland Police Bureau in the wake of the ongoing flare-up of violence in the Middle East. (Portland, meanwhile, has been the site of peaceful pro-Lebanese and pro-Israeli rallies in Pioneer Square, where outspoken counter-protests took place without violence.) Police are now stressing the importance of reporting any bias crime incidents as they happen. MATT DAVIS
Clout Tolstoy, who was arrested outside Schumacher Fur Company during a protest on March 4, was found guilty last week of interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest—but was acquitted of attempted escape in the second degree. Tolstoy's arrest was videotaped by activists, who were outraged at the arrest ["Fur Fighters," News, March 9].
Tolstoy's fellow protestor, Jonathan Mills, began trial this week for disorderly conduct, interfering with pedestrian traffic, and resisting arrest, after he was arrested at the same demonstration. MD