Portland City Council on Wednesday, December 15, ended 2010 on a costly note—approving a $338,477 settlement with an elderly woman who sued the city after she was struck by a police car in November 2009. Alganesh Negasi, 80 years old at the time of the crash, was crossing NE Russell when Officer Ty Garrison took his eyes off the road to check his mobile computer for incoming calls. When he looked at the road again, he saw a blur in front of his car "perhaps a foot away," a summary of the incident shows. He braked hard, but hit Negasi, launching her into the air. Negasi will receive $88,477 for her medical costs so far (the Oregonian reports Negasi must now use a walker to leave her home), plus $250,000 in damages. Police officials determined the crash was "preventable," and said Garrison will receive a letter of reprimand. DENIS C. THERIAULT

After 11 years of development, South Waterfront may finally be getting its first affordable housing complex. On Wednesday, December 15, city council approved a deal that allows housing nonprofit REACH to build a six-story building, called Block 49, that will (fingers crossed) create 209 units of affordable housing in the area that until now has been home mostly to auctioned-off condos and doggie daycares. The $50 million project is using $23 million in urban renewal dollars and will reserve 42 units specifically for low-income veterans. South Waterfront was originally planned as a "diverse, inclusive riverfront neighborhood" that would include 788 units of affordable housing, but plans for another complex, Block 33, fell through ["Broken Homes," News, March 4]. If all the funding lines up, Block 49 will break ground in spring and open next fall. SARAH MIRK