In Other News 

Northeast Portland residents and city commissioners debated in city council last week whether the 72-unit Albert Apartments complex slated for N Williams is actually worth $1.12 million in city tax abatements reserved for transit-oriented developments ["Hitting the Wrong Notes," News, July 2]. "If this is truly a transit-oriented development, why are 48 parking spots being included?" Portlander Cathy Galbraith asked council. Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz agreed that while the building meets all the city standards necessary to snag the public funds, it is worth looking into whether the development delivers "bang for the buck." Fish asked, "If we conclude that the developer followed all the rules and we still come away with a building that the neighborhood objects to, is it our role at this point to yank the abatement?" Council votes on the apartments on September 9. SARAH MIRK

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Not even a year into his term, Bob Skipper may have to step down as Multnomah County Sheriff. After twice failing the police certification test, he requested temporary certification to gain more time, which the state denied last week. State law requires all sheriffs to obtain police certification within one year of taking office, which, for Skipper, is November 5. The state legislature passed a custom bill for Skipper in June allowing the aging sheriff to bypass the 16-week boot camp required for entry-level officers and instead participate in a two-week officers' training course. Skipper felt he did not need the basic training since he had served in the Sheriff's Office for 34 years before retiring in the mid-'90s. However, Skipper failed the certification exam twice this summer, meaning the only way to gain certification now is to attend the 16-week basic training. RACHAEL MARCUS

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City council has voted to approve free "all zones" transit travel for high school students in Portland Public Schools. The new "YouthPass" program for students will be funded with $800,000 from Portland Public Schools, and use up to $2.5 million in tax credits from the Oregon Department of Energy, which has a business energy tax credit program that gives state money for transportation projects that decrease environmental impacts. TriMet recently axed its Fareless Square program for buses in downtown Portland, in a move calculated to save just $800,000. MATT DAVIS

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