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What, Sam Spade wasn't available?

People who like to carp that the media creates news stories will love this: The Oregonian has hired a reporter to get to the bottom of the feud between the Trail Blazers and - you guessed it - The Oregonian.

Freelancer Craig Lancaster was in town recently to speak to both sides, as well as other sportswriters in town. He also spoke with the weblog www.truehoop.com.

'Things have gotten bad enough that The Oregonian thought they ought to explain … they have given me no direction,' Lancaster told the blog's author, Henry Abbott. 'I think they have made an effort to be independent.'.

Council gets tough with mayor on PDC appointment

What's a short way to spell 'the mayor has a council-relations problem'? How about: John Mohlis. That's the name of the union official who is Mayor Tom Potter's most recent appointment to the Portland Development Commission.

Earlier this year, in response to pressure over whether the PDC should pay a better-than-market wage on its projects, Potter told the building-trade unions he was open to giving them a seat on the PDC.

Then, after the unions submitted the name of Mohlis, a former bricklayer who heads the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, Potter balked - opening up the job to other, nonunion candidates.

A little bird close to City Hall says the reason Potter reverted to Mohlis was simple: He couldn't get three votes for anyone else. Commissioners Randy Leonard, Erik Sten and Sam Adams reportedly said it was Mohlis or nobody.

Death of Chasse has bloggers' attention

Former City Commissioner Charlie Hales recently said he was disappointed in the lack of outrage among Portlanders over the in-custody death of James Chasse Jr. Well, Hales obviously hasn't been reading the mayor's blog.

Potter recently asked the public to comment on the Chasse controversy on his city Web site. All of the more than 40 comments posted by Friday criticized the police who arrested Chasse, the Multnomah County grand jury that did not charge them with any crime, Potter himself for not taking a firm stand on the death - or all three at the same time.

Most of the postings included terms like 'disgusted,' 'appalled,' 'deeply saddened' and 'unhappy.' Several of the posters said they had voted for Potter but would not do so again because of his handling of the case.

- Tribune staff