Mercury Staff

CONSERVATIVE NEWS-TALK station kxl-fm is smarting from public censure after staffers decided it was a good idea to quote a fictive Vietnamese prostitute on a Chinatown billboard. 

As first pointed out on Blogtown last Friday, October 25, the enormous billboard near NW 3rd and Couch reads: "We love you long time," an allusion to 2 Live Crew's 1989 rap hit "Me So Horny," which itself sampled the Stanley Kubrick classic Full Metal Jacket.

The billboard quickly went viral, nabbing a spot on national news aggregator the Huffington Post by the following Monday. That's the same day KXL issued this statement: "It's a famous quote from an old rap song, we thought it would get attention but in no way meant disrespect to anyone. This was a decision from the marketing and programming department. However, after our news department came to us and said they believed it to be insensitive, we decided to change the message." DIRK VANDERHART


LEGAL POT is likely coming back to an Oregon ballot, and this time it's got legs. 

A group called New Approach Oregon announced on Friday, October 25, that it will push an initiative to legalize marijuana—including a specific framework for taxation and regulation—for the November 2014 ballot.

In its particulars, the measure appears to be more pragmatic than Measure 80, the failed 2012 push for legalization. Highlighting the differences between the two, New Approach Oregon had already raised $130,500 as of Monday, October 28. That's more than double what the Yes on 80 political action committee spent in total. 

Supporters of the new push don't much care how legalization occurs. They'd like the Oregon Legislature to pass a law. Or they're happy having lawmakers refer their initiative to the ballot. Or they're prepared to go the hard route, collecting the 87,000-plus signatures needed to put their proposal before the people.

Either way, they say, get ready. DVH


MAYOR CHARLIE HALES has apparently decided to troll Portland's police accountability advocates—announcing, on Monday, October 28, that he'd hired a sworn police officer to serve as his senior policy director in charge of the Portland Police Bureau.

Hales' office, in a statement, celebrated Officer Deanna Wesson-Mitchell's Portland roots and her work, as an African American, in helping the bureau add diversity to its hiring and in helping lead difficult conversations on racial profiling and equity.

Others had a different reaction.

"It is of great concern to have a rank-and-file officer in the position of directing policy for her most recent boss, and, at that, a boss in a paramilitary organization," Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch wrote to the Mercury.

Hales' spokesman, Dana Haynes, says the mayor figured on some blowback but that his eyes "lit up" over Wesson-Mitchell's long-term vision for the bureau. DENIS C. THERIAULT