The owners of the Dixie Mattress Company at SE 33rd and Belmont had their sign altered on Sunday night, June 22. Where two confederate flags once adorned the awning, two images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. now covered the flags, attached with clothespins. The anonymous people responsible left a phone message with the Mercury on Monday morning, June 23, saying they were trying to stop the proliferation of "an image of hatred."

The shop's owner wasn't pleased. "They've got the nerve to spray paint on your building, now they think they can do whatever they want. If people don't like the sign they don't have to look up there," said the shop's owner, who only gave her name as Judy. "They think we're stupid." Read more and weigh in on the controversial protest at MD


Organizers of the homeless protest outside city hall held a series of solitary campouts around Portland on Saturday night, June 21—to draw Portlanders' attention to the unfairness of the city's anti-camping and sit-lie laws. Jill Severson, organizer of the campouts, said there were seven across Portland, concentrated in North and Southeast. "My goal was to talk to our neighbors about the camping and sit-lie ordinances," says Severson, who says the idea is "hopefully something we can keep building on." MD


Just weeks after Dr. Gregg Coodley turned in 30,000 signatures in support of his kids' health care city ballot initiative (which, if it had made the ballot and was supported by the voters, would have insured any student enrolled in Portland Public Schools who didn't already have medical insurance, at an estimated annual cost of less than $4 million), Coodley is withdrawing his measure.

It's not a defeat, however. Instead, Coodley secured the direct support of the city council, in the form of a pledge to create a "Kids Care Committee" that will craft a plan to insure kids by September 1, 2009. The resolution creating that committee declares, "It is the policy of the city that children who lack health care coverage in the City of Portland deserve basic health care coverage." The council is slated to vote on the resolution on July 2. AJR