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February 5th, 2014 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Maybe Kitzhaber Can Start Tolling City Sidewalks.

murmurs_shannonTRES SHANNON - IMAGE: James Rexroad
  • Anybody want to buy a sidewalk? City Commissioner Steve Novick has been sniffing out new taxes to fund the Portland Bureau of Transportation (Murmurs, WW, Dec. 4, 2013). He now knows what Portlanders might support: sidewalks and crosswalks. A $28,000 survey paid for by PBOT shows more than 80 percent of voters are likely to support a transportation-funding plan that would build “sidewalks and safety features in places where children need them to get to school.” The result—from a phone survey conducted by DHM Research—is a sharp increase from 2007, the last time PBOT did a poll. Novick’s options include taking to voters a gas tax or street-maintenance fee for property owners. Paul Romain, lobbyist for the Oregon Petroleum Association, says Novick hasn’t shown voters crucial information: the price tag. “We believe it would be an utter failure,” Romain says. “Most people want everything, but they want you to use the resources you have.”
  • The Denver Post described the Jan. 15 opening of Voodoo Doughnut there as a “frenzy.” The day before was less triumphant for Voodoo co-founder Tres Shannon, who pleaded guilty Jan. 14 in Multnomah County Court to reckless driving. On Aug. 23 at 1:28 am, Portland police responded to a call at 2250 NW Thurman St., where they found Shannon “dazed and confused” with a Honey Bucket pinned between his car and a construction fence. A witness told police that Shannon, 48, had used his 1992 Mercedes to “intentionally ram the porta-potty head-on”; police found his car high-centered on the curb. Shannon told police he’d been drinking beer “with the Timbers Army” at the Matador bar on West Burnside Street. Shannon declined a Breathalyzer and pleaded no contest to drunken driving in November. That conviction will be diverted if he complies with court requirements. Shannon didn’t return WW’s calls.
  • Gov. John Kitzhaber exhorted legislative leaders Jan. 27 to move the Columbia River Crossing project forward in the session that began Feb. 3. Kitzhaber assured legislative leaders in a letter that Oregon and various Washington agencies have “methodically reviewed and analyzed” the challenges an Oregon-only CRC creates to collecting tolls from Washington commuters. Apparently that doesn’t include one agency that would be directly involved. “The [Washington] Department of Licensing is not engaged in any planning effort to assist in the enforcement of Oregon-based tolls,” agency director Pat Kohler wrote in a Jan. 28 email to Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center). “DOL currently has no plans to play a role in toll enforcement related to a Columbia River bridge project.” Separately, an Oregon Government Ethics Commission investigator last week recommended dropping all ethics charges against Kitzhaber adviser Patricia McCaig of improper lobbying and conflicts of interest. McCaig—who’s been paid a total $525,000 as a CRC consultant since 2009—told the state investigator she’s doesn’t lobby but instead provides lawmakers “neutral information.”
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