Sources Say • Lawyers hit the delete key
We all know the feeling: seeing another unwanted email in your inbox and hitting the unsubscribe button to be rid of it once and for all.
Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen was trying to be nice -- yet firm -- about his request: "Please remove me from your list and stop sending me unsolicited emails. Thank you. Jeff Cogen."
But schools activist Lainie Block Wilker, sender of the May 25 mass email urging Portland Public Schools to defer a potential facilities bond measure, took offense.
"With all due respect, I will not forfeit my 1st Amendment right to petition publicly elected officials with a plan for improving our public schools," she wrote in her response to all 70 or so recipients on her list.
Block Wilker, an attorney, concluded with her own civics lesson for Cogen, who worked in litigation law in San Francisco.
She continued to publicly chastise Cogen, before concluding: "While you might not agree with the Smart Schools strategic plan, you could at least show some respect for the democratic process."
Want to hear more from Block Wilker? Her website is smartschoolspdx.
Savas: Sources on the wrong track
Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas strongly disputes our account of his position on the Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail project and his appearance at the May 22 event held to celebrate the signing of the federal full funding grant agreement.
Savas says he has consistently opposed extending the line to Milwaukie and does not believe the county should pay its $25 million share. According to Savas, he was not invited to the celebration but only showed up because he heard it would be protested. Savas says he did not hear anyone invite him to join the picket line, and only entered the tent where the celebration was held to get out of the rain and hear what was said.
Savas admits he did not specifically come out against funding the Clackamas County portion of the project in his Voters Pamphlet page -- as Sources noted -- because of space limitations. He finished third in the race for county chair behind former Wilsonville Mayor John Ludlow and incumbent Charlotte Lehan.
Ludlow also opposes extending the line to Milwaukie. Lehan spoke in favor of the project at the ceremony.
Savas will continue on the commissioner because he ran for chair in mid-term.
Occupy this parks bill
The planned June 10 softball game between the city's park rangers and Occupy Portland protesters overlooks the fact that the protesters caused $116,700 to Chapman and Lownsdale squares during last year's encampment there -- and Portland Parks and Recreation is still on the hook for $77,404 of it.
The renovation costs are higher than the original $85,500 estimate. They include $39,959 spent during the encampment and $76,811 spent in repairs afterward.
The nonprofit Parks Foundation has only raised $39,366 in private contributions for the work, leaving the parks bureau responsible for the balance.
The encampment ran from early October to mid-November of last year. Although some protesters talked about raising money for repairs, most of the money -- $25,000 -- came from Umpqua Bank.
(Editor's note: The print version of this column gave the incorrect date for the Occupy Portland-Park rangers softball game. The game is scheduled at 3 p.m. June 10 in Overlook Park.)