Last week, Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) jumped into the fray over a church-backed public alternative school, the Academy of Character and Ethics (ACE), due to open this fall. The church, Mt. Olivet Baptist, was a major sponsor of Measure 36, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. On Thursday, March 16, BRO got a meeting with school district officials. The following day, BRO sent an email to supporters detailing the meeting: "We hoped our fears would be allayed and that we would be reassured by the facts. Instead, the more we learned, the more alarmed we got." According to BRO, school district officials told them ACE's board of directors was "assembled by Mt. Olivet and its leadership." The school's appointed principal, Paula Kinney, is a Mt. Olivet member, and she will report to the school's own board of directors—not Portland Public Schools.

"We have urged [the district] to put this school on hold until these significant concerns... are addressed," BRO's email concluded. AMY JENNIGES


Unlike some other local newspapers, we won't make the candidates for city council do a backward crabwalk in a Speedo just to get your attention. That's because we actually take the elections process as seriously as you do. On Thursday, April 13, the Mercury will be hosting an up-close-and-personal forum that will give you more insight into the city council candidates—and less meaningless jackassery—than anyone else in town. And unlike some other newspaper-sponsored forums, this one is free! Keep your eyes peeled for more information in next week's Mercury. SM