In Other News 

A Broadway Cab driver accused of kicking two women out of his cab and onto Interstate 84 last week—allegedly because they were holding hands with one another—has been suspended by Portland's taxi regulatory board pending an investigation. The couple, Shanako DeVoll and Kate Neal, first posted about their ordeal on Facebook. It ended with a ride home from a police officer who'd been called by the cab driver, who claimed the couple jumped from the cab and wouldn't pay their fare. Kathleen Butler, of the city's Private-For-Hire Transportation Board, said investigators are looking at several potential violations of the city code—including rules that say cabbies can't refuse fares or act rudely. Butler said it's been six years since a complaint like this came in. "It's quite rare," she says. DENIS C. THERIAULT


Supporters of a proposed "Portland Public Water District"—a new board that would take over administration of the city's environmental services and water bureaus—will have to wait a little while longer before formally launching their push to put the measure on next May's ballot. Because of typos in the proposed charter amendments submitted to the city this month, as reported by the Mercury ["Squirt Guns at Dawn," News, July 24], Portlanders for Water Reform officially withdrew its petition Thursday, July 25, and filed a new version the following day. The move restarts an approval process that every petition must survive before voters can agree to put it on the ballot. Among the fixes: No more stray references to a "Portland Public Utility Board"—confusion that could have made its way into the city charter. DCT


Portland's $35 annual arts tax appears due for a modest makeover, based on a work session last Wednesday, July 24, where city commissioners—except for Dan Saltzman, who said he disagreed with making more changes unless voters approved—talked through a handful of revision scenarios. While some proposals would make the tax far more expensive for wealthier Portlanders, an approach backed by a De Medici-name-dropping Steve Novick, the council seems more likely to favor just a slight increase. The arts tax, as the Mercury first reported, also faces another legal hurdle. Tax professor and blogger Jack Bogdanski, who insists the levy is an illegal head tax, has appealed a recent defeat in Oregon Tax Court. DCT


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