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Gov. John Kitzhaber's Top Spokeswoman Leaves After Six Months on the Job

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Gov. John Kitzhaber has shaken up his public-relations staff: His top spokeswoman is gone from his office in the midst of a re-election campaign.

Nkenge Harmon Johnson has left her job as Kitzhaber's communications director just six months after she was hired. Officials from the governor's office won't discuss her departure, or who is replacing her.

"Nkenge is no...   More
 
Monday, July 21, 2014 by AARON MESH

It's Not Just Uber Trying to Break Into Portland—Lyft is Lobbying, Too

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Uber, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing startup that enlists drivers to use their own cars as de facto taxis, today re-ignited its drive to get its service legalized in Portland.

The company's PR blitz includes hiring a truck to deliver ice cream to City Hall—and comes seven month...   More
 
Friday, July 18, 2014 by AARON MESH

New Street Fee Survey Says: Tax the Rich

Novick finds strong support for income tax on people who make more than $125,000 a year.

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City Commissioner Steve Novick has had the city pay for another phone survey—the third this year—trying to find a popular way to raise about $50 million a year to pave Portland streets.

He may have found one: an income tax on the city's richest people.

T...   More
 
Thursday, July 17, 2014 by AARON MESH

Oregon Zoo Re-Hires Veterinarian Mitch Finnegan

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The Oregon Zoo has re-hired Dr. Mitch Finnegan, the veterinarian fired by regional government Metro in the wake of the death of Sumatran orangutan Kutai.

Metro fired Finnegan, along with zoo director Kim Smith, on May 5 after an investigation found that zoo leaders didn't report all the human errors around    More
 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by AARON MESH

Them’s The Brakes

Why City Hall loves home-sharing company Airbnb but not car-sharing startup Uber.


News Stories
Mayor Charlie Hales says he wants Portland to stand as a leader in making room for the “sharing economy.” That’s one reason he has championed rewriting city rules to legalize the operations    More
 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 AARON MESH

Hotseat: Ray Horton

A native Portlander talks about his (so far) lonely effort to recall the mayor and a city commissioner.


City Hall
Ray Horton is fed up. Like a lot of Portlanders, he resents the idea that households might have to pay a $144-per-year fee to pave streets. And he’s irritated by what he views as the high-ha   More
 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 AARON MESH

Tom Hughes Says Packy Will Not Leave Oregon Zoo

Metro President rejects calls from animal activists to send elephant to a sanctuary.

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Metro President Tom Hughes has told animal-rights activists he's rejecting their demands to send 52-year-old Oregon Zoo elephant Packy to a sanctuary.

"I want to be clear on this point: we have no intention of moving Packy from the Oregon Zoo," Hughes wrote a trio of activ...   More
 
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 by AARON MESH

Portland Expects to Collect Nearly $500,000 Annually in Taxes From Airbnb Rentals

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Documents show that the city of Portland expects to collect nearly $500,000 from hotel taxes on Airbnb rentals in the coming year.

As reported this week in WW, the San Francisco-based startup has been successfully lobbying the City Council to allow its clie...   More
 
Friday, July 11, 2014 by AARON MESH

Novick to PBOT: "We Shall Fight in the Streets"

Yes, that's Churchill.

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City Commissioner Steve Novick wrote a mass email this week to employees at the Portland Bureau of Transportation, reasserting his commitment to raising $50 million a year for road repair with a "street fee."

In the July 7 email, Novick pledges his dedicat...   More
 
Thursday, July 10, 2014 by AARON MESH

Portland's White Male Diversity Training Includes Three-Night Stay at Golf Resort

"I'm told there is some golfing between many hours of classes."

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The $56,000 spent by Mayor Charlie Hales' office and the Portland Police Bureau on a diversity training retreat for white men includes the cost of hotel rooms and food at a golf resort near Mt. Hood.

Hales, three City Hall managers and 11 command staff from the Police Bureau are staying at ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 by AARON MESH
 

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