A MULTNOMAH COUNTY judge says Portland's controversial and oft-revised arts tax is constitutional, giving the city its second victory in as many legal challenges since voters approved the $35-per-income-earner tax in November. "The arts tax is not a poll or head tax as prohibited by the Oregon Constitution," Circuit Court Judge Kelly Skye wrote in an opinion released Thursday, June 27. The ruling lays to rest, for now, part of a suit brought by Portland resident George Wittemyer. Earlier in June, an Oregon Tax Court judge dismissed a similar challenge, on procedural grounds, by Lewis & Clark law professor (and erstwhile blogger) Jack Bogdanski. DIRK VANDERHART


DESPITE DRAMATIC CLAIMS the city planned to use "pressurized water" to rid NE Alberta of revelers following June's Last Thursday celebration, the event played out on June 27 with little incident. But it's still unclear who will oversee the summer event going forward, after the volunteer group that's helmed Last Thursday since 2011 announced it was resigning in protest of Mayor Charlie Hales' suggestions for the event. The group, Friends of Last Thursday, has since said it wants to resume leadership, but the mayor's now reaching out to a variety of groups in closed-door discussions about the future of the street festival. Participants have been tightlipped. DVH