WHO'S SMILING NOW?
Does Wal-Mart have its eye on yet another Portland location, just months after trying (unsuccessfully) to set up shop in Sellwood? Yes, according to City Commissioner Sam Adams, who's pledged to fight against the store.
The embattled mega-retailer is planning a location at the site of the old Red Lion Hotel on Hayden Island, home of the Jantzen Beach shopping center and a number of residences. The island already has problems with traffic, according to neighbors. Adams—the transportation commissioner—and neighborhood critics charge that a Wal-Mart would make a bad situation much, much worse.
That's the official complaint, but Wal-Mart's history of low wages, little health benefits, and opposition to unions have a role in Adams' opposition to the business. SCOTT MOORE
GUILD SHUTS DOWN
The Guild Theater, Portland's last downtown historic cinema, at NW 9th and Taylor, will be dark all summer and may close for good, as developers move in next door to build a Pastini Pastaria due to open November 1.
The Guild space will be used as a "platform to renovate the restaurant next door," says Thomas Phillipson, spokesman for the NW Film Center, which has occupied the Guild for eight years. Phillipson says it has enjoyed a sweet rent deal with the Guild's owner, Tom Moyer of TMT development—who also owns the neighboring building— and the Film Center offered to vacate the theater to make way for builders.
The closure is sudden and has surprised some of the Guild's staff, who learned only last week that equipment must be out by June 12.
Film Center Manager Dan Frazier adds, "All of us at the theater are very sad to see it close, for however long. The Guild may lack a certain measure of extravagance, but it has served downtown Portland bountifully."
Moyer was unavailable for comment Tuesday. WILL GARDNER and MATT DAVIS
MORE ON BLOGTOWN
Can't get enough Mercury news? Then keep your eyes peeled on Blog Town, PDX for daily news updates.
Up this week: A possible announcement from Mayor Potter on the status of Police Chief Derrick Foxworth. Will Foxworth get "promoted" to private sector work? Or will he step back into the role that Rosie Sizer has taken over?
Also, why is the Portland Development Commission trying to screw construction workers out of prevailing wage rules?
Set your internet browser to portlandmercury.com/blogtown to find out. SM