On Thursday, May 24, Portland cops arrested 10 demonstrators who refused to leave the University Station post office on SW 6th at closing time. The demonstrators—a mix of labor unions, neighborhood organizations, and occupiers—were protesting budget cuts to the nation's postal service. The postmaster general plans on eliminating Saturday delivery and closing half of the nation's processing facilities. Protesters say the cuts stem from a 2006 law designed to cripple the postal service's finances, forcing it to overpay for future retirement benefits. The law was written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive free-market think tank made up of corporate interests and conservative lawmakers. NATHAN GILLES
Last week, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) released a series of maps revealing the locations of Portland's many geological hazards. The maps pinpointed, among other dangers, flood plains, local fault lines, and the city's quake-vulnerable unreinforced masonry buildings. These brick buildings are killers in major earthquakes because they tend to collapse and, um, bury their occupants. But PBEM's maps probably aren't complete. We spotted several buildings that weren't included. The maps also don't point out the city's stock of collapse-prone unreinforced concrete buildings—also plentiful in Portland. But at least it's a start! NG
Does this sound like a conflict of interest? On Wednesday, May 30, Portland's police and fire bureaus are expected to win a waiver to start buying equipment from a company owned and operated by a Portland cop—and activists in Portland Copwatch and the Oregon Progressive Party are raising a stink. The company, Extreme Products, is run by Officer John Myers and sells mostly tactical equipment, things like batons, armor, and flashlights. Activists argue the deal will let Myers "profit off the militarization of his own police force." They also complained that the contract was supposed to go before a city council vote, without any public discussion. City code normally forbids doing business with employees. DENIS C. THERIAULT
Update May 30:The item was pulled from the council agenda after Mayor Sam Adams' staff also flagged it, with the mayor announcing he didn't support it.