DID YOU SWAP PARTNERS last weekend? If not, you lost another chance to do so in public. Ron Jeremy's Club Sesso, Portland's renowned swingers' club, closed its doors after business on Saturday, June 20, ending its six-year run.
The club was immersed in legal troubles and mounting fines (about $100,000 of them) levied by the city following an investigation into alleged favoritism shown to the club by Portland Assistant Fire Marshal Doug Jones.
"It's been more and more difficult to deal with some of the problems that snowballed starting about a year ago," the club's attorney, Ted Brindle, tells the Mercury. "There was always some thought that this ultimately might happen."
Sesso's Paul Smith says he's looking into options for reopening the club. Cross your fingers and uncross your legs. SHELBY R. KING
LAW STUDENTS from Lewis & Clark College on Monday, June 22, launched a study to collect data on how long folks looking for wheelchair-accessible taxis and ride-hailing services have to wait compared to others.
"Historically, Portland required taxi companies to maintain a certain percentage of wheelchair accessible vehicles in their fleets," says Leslie Hallan, who's helping administer the study. "This arbitrary fleet standard has failed to deliver an appropriate level of transportation service for wheelchair users."
Hallan says the students aren't discussing their methodology to prevent skewing the results.
Equity for wheelchair-bound taxi customers has been a concern for years, but was thrust to the fore early in 2015, when a city-appointed task force began hashing out suggestions that would re-shape Portland's "for-hire transportation" industry to make way for Uber and Lyft. SRK
SPEAKING OF UBER, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick says he'll ask the state to look into the company. Novick wants Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to poke around Oregon law, to see if Uber's contracted drivers may qualify as employees, thereby requiring the $40 billion company to take a larger stake in their well-being.
Novick's been a vociferous critic of Uber since it started operating illegally in Portland late last year, but this isn't a random poke in the eye. The commissioner is riffing on a recent ruling by the California Labor Commissioner's Office that one Uber driver qualified as an employee.
Novick's not going to stop with BOLI. He says he'll also ask Uber and Lyft drivers if they even want further regulation. "One of the things that concerns me about Uber and Lyft is the fact that their drivers do not have the protections and benefits of employees," the commissioner writes. DIRK VANDERHART