BLOOD RED CARPET
Tension continues to bubble outside Schumacher Furs during the weekly anti-fur protests, despite owner Gregg Schumacher's announcement on Tuesday, November 28 that the shop will move out of downtown next year. On Saturday, December 9, Schumacher rolled out a four foot wide red carpet on the sidewalk. Then, last Saturday, December 16, a female counter-protestor emerged from inside the store with a sign saying "Don't Pick on Small Businesses."
Speculation has been rife that the shop's landlord, TMT Development, did not renew Schumacher's lease, thanks to complaints from upstairs neighbors and criticism from city hall and Central Precinct about the shop's incitement of protesters. TMT has not returned several calls, while Schumacher insists his departure is "voluntary." MATT DAVIS
The Emilie Boyles public campaign financing saga continued last week: Volodymyr Golovan—who helped Boyles obtain $150,000 in public financing for her city council bid, by collecting 950 signatures—was arrested on Wednesday, December 13, on 12 counts of forgery, theft, identity theft, and "unsworn falsification." Golovan, who also helped candidate Lucinda Tate collect signatures, allegedly lied about collecting $5 from each person, and forged signatures, according to the indictment. A grand jury heard from city auditor Gary Blackmer, Tate, and several of the people whose names Golovan allegedly falsified. Boyles testified via affidavit.
(P.S.—Boyles' book, Pendulum Swing, was supposed to be published in "late November," according to her website. We're still waiting for our review copy.) AMY JENNIGES
DEMOCRAT BEN WESTLUND
Last Tuesday, December 12, State Senator Ben Westlund dropped his independent status and registered as a Democrat. In February, Westlund, a longtime Republican, had abandoned the GOP to become an independent, throwing his hat into the governor's race.
In a December 12 interview, Westlund had told the Mercury "It's like I've finally got a political home. That doesn't mean I'm going to agree with every Democrat God ever created, but there's a larger consistency and greater overlap in most Democrats' views."
"By and large," he added, "it's respecting the rights of all human beings, it's providing affordable and effective healthcare to all residents of Oregon, and not just adequate, but stable funding for all of our educational components, pre-kindergarten through college."
For the full interview, head to portlandmercury.com. SCOTT MOORE