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June 15th, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

In Better Condition Than A Fat Soccer Referee.

murmurs.fritz_3732Amanda Fritz
    Credits: opb.org

    Emily Harris, the radio host of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud morning talk show, says she’s been asked to leave the show and the network by OPB management. David Miller, the show’s online host, will take over for Harris the week of June 20. “We have had some editorial differences, which management chose to resolve by asking me to leave,” Harris says. “I wish them good luck as the show continues to evolve. Dave will do a great job, and, as far as me, stay tuned.” OPB made an abrupt announcement Tuesday morning, as first reported on wweek.com, saying only that Harris had already left and “is pursuing other opportunities.” Morgan Holm, OPB’s vice president of news and public affairs, declined to say why OPB pushed Harris out.
  • The single biggest stake anyone has made in the 2012 City Hall campaigns to date comes from an unlikely source:  Commissioner Amanda Fritz loaned her re-election campaign $25,000. The June 9 loan is the only real money she’s collected so far. It’s not clear how Fritz, who worked as a psychiatric nurse before joining the City Council, will finance the rest of her campaign. But maybe she’s feeling lucky. Her annual financial disclosure report says more than 10 percent of her household’s income last year came from online poker winnings hauled in by her son, Maxwell, on the Full Tilt Poker site.
  • Portland Mayor Sam Adams still wants a citywide plastic-bag ban now that the Oregon Legislature has again failed to pass a statewide version. Adams sponsored a 2010 City Council resolution that would introduce a plastic-bag ban similar to those in dozens of other cities and countries, provided the legislature failed to do so (“Green With Envy,” WW, April 16, 2008). Why did Adams’ staff propose an outright ban instead of a tax? “They’ve looked at what has worked in other areas and what hasn’t worked. Outright bans have been more successful,” says Adams’ spokeswoman, Amy Ruiz. Adams is scheduled to leave for Baltimore on June 15 to attend a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting.
  • U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) last week introduced a bill to expand the state’s geothermal energy industry by allowing companies to search for new “hot spots” on federal land adjacent to existing geothermal production sites. Wyden wants to enable “remote sensing” technologies (some subsidized by millions in federal economic-stimulus funds). Though lower profile than solar or wind power, geothermal drilling has proven controversial: The drilling—sometimes 2 miles deep—is suspected of damaging groundwater and increasing seismic activity. Oregon Wild Wilderness Coordinator Erik Fernandez tells WW that Wyden’s bill, which would allow public land to be leased for exploration without a competitive-bidding process, doesn’t appear to violate existing environmental protections. “We are supportive of geothermal energy as long as it’s done in the right place with a light touch on the landscape,” Fernandez says. “At the end of the day, it really comes down to location, location, location.”
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