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Four local unions pointedly snubbed Portland's three major mayoral candidates by refusing to include them during a joint endorsement announcement at Portland City Hall on Thursday, December 15. The presidents of the Portland Firefighters Association, Portland Police Association, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 all complained that Eileen Brady, Jefferson Smith, and Charlie Hales had yet to offer any "real tangible" ideas for addressing working-class issues. Instead the unions made two unsurprising commissioner picks for city council: State Representative Mary Nolan over incumbent Amanda Fritz, and former US Senate candidate Steve Novick, who lacks a high-profile challenger in his bid to replace Randy Leonard. Nolan has been a labor champ in Salem, while Fritz has earned union ire for battling pricey spending projects. DENIS C. THERIAULT

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Though it may lead to cutbacks for Multnomah County's highly decorated library system, County Chairman Jeff Cogen says he'll wait until 2014 before asking voters to approve a special taxing district meant to shore up the library's precarious cash flow. If Cogen gets his wish at a meeting on January 5, the May 2012 ballot will contain merely an extension of the library's current (and cheaper) tax levy. And that means cutbacks—as in layoffs and reduced library hours. The library system has already been drawing from the county's own dwindling reserves to make ends meet in recent years. Cogen, in an email sent on Friday, December 16, to library employees blamed the sluggish economy for souring voters on a tax increase. DCT

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The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is considering a small tweak that could lead to big changes: In March 2012, the agency will consider allowing corporations—like Safeway and Plaid Pantry—to apply for contracts to run liquor stores within their existing stores. The rule change would also allow more liquor stores to sell beer and wine. The OLCC is essentially crafting an end-run around the current segregation of beer sales from hard-liquor sales, a change that would otherwise require signoff from the Oregon Legislature. SARAH MIRK

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