Mayor Charlie Hales has extended the payment deadline for Portland's controversial arts tax after an apparent deluge of last-minute payers. The deadline, May 15, seemingly proved way too much for the city's website to handle. As of press time Tuesday, May 21, a final deadline had not been released. City workers were still cobbling a fix that would keep the site from crashing again once it goes back up. This is just the latest problem for the city and the $35-an-income-earner tax that voters approved last fall. Two lawsuits have called it an illegal head tax. Officials also said on May 15 that only 75 percent [DENIS TO CONFIRM] of the money it expected had been collected. DENIS C. THERIAULT


"Voter-owned elections," abolished by Portlanders in 2010, could be mounting a quiet comeback. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz met last week with a variety of local groups in downtown's Board of Trade Building, in what her office called a "brainstorming session" to bring back the system. Fritz, who won her first council term with public financing, has been a champion ever since. Under Portland's old system, candidates could receive $150,000 in public money if they first collected at least 1,000 $5 contributions. DIRK VANDERHART