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PDX Update

COMMUNITY

Archdiocese places ads

The Archdiocese of Portland has launched a newspaper ad campaign seeking victims of sexual abuse by its clergy members.

Last July, the Portland Archdiocese became the first archdiocese in the country to declare bankruptcy. The decision came in the face of more than $500 million in claims contained in lawsuits alleging sexual abuse.

The notices, published in local, regional and national newspapers, are part of the bankruptcy proceedings. The ad says that victims have until April 29 to file a claim, a deadline that will help the court determine fiscal obligations.

'The notice is directed to anyone who believes that the Archdiocese of Portland owes them money or to anyone who believes that the archdiocese is responsible for causing them any injury or harm, including child sexual abuse by a member of the clergy or an employee,' the archdiocese said in a news release.

The ads will appear in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal as well as newspapers based in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California and British Columbia, and Catholic newspapers in Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A toll-free phone number, 1-888-909-0100, has been set up to answer questions.

Skinhead foes unite

Opposition is growing to a skinhead group's plan to distribute racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic fliers in Southwest Portland on Saturday. The Tualatin Valley Skins announced they would meet in Gabriel Park at 1 p.m. before distributing fliers in the surrounding area.

In response, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution denouncing hate and supporting racial justice Wednesday. The Multnomah County Commission was expected to adopt a similar resolution Thursday after press time.

Two events also have been scheduled to oppose the flier distribution. The Ad Hoc Coalition to Protest the Tualatin Valley Skins has scheduled a counterdemonstration in the park at noon Saturday.

Portland police will increase patrols around the park to prevent confrontations between the two groups.

Also, various civic, civil rights and religious organizations have scheduled a unity rally to celebrate diversity at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Multnomah Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway. The gathering will feature speakers, including Mayor Tom Potter, musicians and activities for children. Organizers said it will be a safe way for the community to express its opposition to racism.

METRO

Councilors sworn in

Metro was scheduled to swear in one new councilor and two returning councilors Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at the Oregon Convention Center.

Councilors Rex Burkholder, representing District 5, and Carl Hosticka, representing District 3, are starting second four-year terms. Robert Liberty, elected in November, is beginning his first term representing District 6.

Metro Council President David Bragdon and councilors Susan McLain, District 4; Brian Newman, District 2; and Rod Park, District 1, are in the middle of their terms.

POLICE

Cops to lend hand in D.C.

City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to send 19 Portland police officers to assist the federal government with security during President Bush's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Council members and Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch said they had concerns about the cost and oversight of the officers on the four-day trip, but the commissioners said they decided to approve the action because those issues had been addressed by police officials.

Lt. John Tellis said all costs associated with the trip will be fully reimbursed by the federal government. He said several captains, sergeants and lieutenants will accompany the officers and ensure they are held accountable to all policies and procedures of the Portland Police Bureau. The Portland officers will be deputized as federal agents only on the day of the inauguration.

Tellis added that during the officers' absence, law enforcement from surrounding agencies will assist in case of a major emergency. At the request of the federal government, other local agencies also are sending up to 20 officers each.

COUNTY

Citizen advocates sought

Multnomah County is seeking citizen advocates who will act as liaisons between the county's citizen involvement committee and the various commissions that advise the county board on programs and issues.

The goal is to identify barriers to effective citizen involvement, and provide solutions. Duties include attending a monthly meeting and reporting back to the citizen involvement committee.

Applicants may apply by going to citizenweb.org on the Web or by calling Ross Williams, 503-988-3450.

Ñ Tribune staff