PDX Update



City releases new plan

The city of Portland has released a more detailed plan for its operation of Portland General Electric should it be successful in purchasing the utility from its parent company, Enron Inc.

City officials have been talking to consumer groups and county officials for the last several months to outline a possible governance structure. The latest ideas are an extension of the city's original draft principles on governing PGE, which were released last October.

The city is proposing to:

• Issue revenue bonds to purchase PGE, a cost estimated between $2 billion and $2.6 billion. It's uncertain if the city would be able to fund the purchase through lower-cost tax-exempt bonds, which could eliminate potential rate savings.

• Establish a nine-member regional oversight board that would be supported by a staff of up to 50 public employees. The mayor would appoint the board members, nominated by an advisory council from throughout PGE's coverage area Ñ which stretches from Washington County to Marion County. The board would address rate-making and electricity contracts.

• Hire a private operator, such as PacifiCorp or NW Natural, to oversee Portland General's day-to-day operations. PGE's 2,700 employees probably would be retained.

Enron spokesman John Ambler said it's uncertain if the company will decide by the June 30 bankruptcy court deadline if PGE will be sold outright to a buyer or spun off into an independent company. Negotiations with potential PGE buyers 'are pretty advanced,' he said, 'but I can't even say if the city is a bidder at this point.'


James forum scheduled

Mayor Vera Katz has agreed to hold a community forum July 1 on the Kendra James shooting.

Katz promised to hold the forum after James was shot by Portland police officer Scott McCollister on May 5. James was trying to drive away from an early morning traffic stop when McCollister shot her. A Multnomah County grand jury declined to charge McCollister with any crime after he testified that he feared for his life.

Because James was black and McCollister is white, the killing has sparked community protests. According to Elise Marshall, Katz's liaison to the police bureau, the forum will allow the public to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the shooting and to voice their opinions on such issues as the appropriate use of deadly force by police.

Marshall said Katz has asked the Albina Ministerial Alliance and state Sens. Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly to help organize the conference. No decision has yet been made on where it will be held.

Suspect's identity sought

Portland police are asking the public to help identify a man involved in a Thursday night fight that resulted in the death of Joseph Michael Paulson of Canby.

Police responded to emergency calls about a fight shortly before midnight in the 1300 block of West Burnside Street. According to police spokesman Henry Groepper, witnesses said Paulson was fighting with a black male who left the area in a white car that looked like a Ford Tempo. The suspect was wearing silver shorts and a silver jacket.

The 47-year-old Paulson died Saturday at OHSU Hospital from injuries suffered in the altercation. He was the city's 11th homicide victim of the year. Groepper is asking anyone who witnessed the fight Ñ including those who called 911 Ñ to call the detectives at 503-823-0757.

Death ruled suicide

The Multnomah County medical examiner has ruled that Dr. Aaron Markovich committed suicide last week.

Markovich, a resident in OHSU Hospital's urology clinic, died Wednesday after being hit by a truck on Interstate 5. Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Rob Boggs said the decision to rule the death a suicide was based on eyewitness accounts of the incident and Markovich's past medical history.

Police break theft ring

Portland police are asking the public to help solve a possible series of identity theft crimes.

Police arrested 31-year-old Tasha Nilsen on one count of computer crime on May 29. While searching her residence in the 3100 block of Southeast 80th Avenue, police discovered more than 500 stolen credit card numbers, checks and checkbooks. They apparently were obtained during a burglary of a restaurant known as Sweetwater's Jam House, formerly located at 3350 S.E. Morrison St.

Investigators are attempting to locate anyone who used a credit card at the former restaurant between March 2001 and July 2002 and then saw any suspicious or illegal activity on their credit cards. Anyone with information is asked to call the police, 503-823-4636.


Brain-injury protocol set

New guidelines have been developed by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University researchers and other national experts that will standardize treatment for children with brain injuries.

Until now, treatments for brain-injured children varied, depending on where the patients were treated and on what kind of equipment was available. Often, physicians followed guidelines for treating adults with brain injuries.

'Children are still growing, and there are some important developmental issues to which you have to pay attention in treating brain injury,' said Dr. Randy Chesnut, associate professor of neurological surgery in OHSU's School of Medicine and the project's principal investigator.

The guidelines were published simultaneously this month in three medical journals to reach more than 30,000 health care workers nationwide.

Chestnut and nine other OHSU researchers were joined by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan and Emory University in Atlanta to develop the guidelines.


Residents set air meeting

Residents of Northwest Portland who are concerned about air pollution in their neighborhood have organized a meeting for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Friendly House Community Center, 2617 N.W. Savier St.

Three experts on air quality will speak: Lewis & Clark College professor Bruce Podobnik, physiologist Robert Amundson and author Paul Koberstein, editor of Cascadia Times.


Sex worker group to close

One of Portland's most unusual nonprofit organizations is going out of business.

Danzine offered advice and medical services to area prostitutes, exotic dancers and other sex industry workers. It was founded as a magazine by dancer Teresa Dulce in 1995 and went on to provide such services as free needle exchanges and a 'bad date' tip line to notify police of dangerous customers.

Danzine also has sponsored art exhibitions and an annual sex-work film festival.

A fund-raiser to help pay closing costs will be held at 9 p.m. Saturday at Seven Stars, 205 N.W. Fourth Ave.

Ñ Tribune staff