Sources Say • Occupy misses economic boat
While Occupy protesters were busy preventing working people from reaching their jobs Monday at the Port of Portland, they missed an ideal chance to confront the state's political and business elite.
By coincidence, the annual Oregon Business Leadership Plan Summit was held the same day at the Oregon Convention Center. It was attended by the state's top elected officials and business leaders, including the heads of utilities, logging companies and manufacturing firms.
Because this is Oregon, and not New York, very few of the participants were millionaires, let alone billionaires.
But all of the summit participants could afford to skip work, which is probably more than can be said for the dock and shipyard workers that weren't paid that day.
Banking on small businesses
Whether responding to Occupy protesters or not, all of the major candidates for mayor have announced plans to make more city money available to small business through credit unions.
New Seasons cofounder Eileen Brady was the first to release a plan in October that would loan Portland Development Commission funds through credit unions to targeted businesses. State Rep. Jefferson Smith started an online 'Move Our Money' petition in November, about a month after Occupy Portland protesters began camping in Chapman and Lownsdale squares.
On Dec. 11, former City Commissioner Charlie Hales announced a plan to use city funds to guarantee credit unions loans to small businesses called 'Community Credit Portland.'
Portland's City Council - which controls the money - is moving much slower, however. Mayor Sam Adams, Commissioner Randy Leonard and Commissioner Amanda Fritz have all asked the Office of Management and Finance for information on where the city's available funds are invested. None has proposed shifting any of it around yet, although Adams' office says he is working on a proposal that will be presented to council in the future.
Coincidence or conspiracy?
We're not going to call it a curse or jinx, but there have been a few eerie coincidences between fictional events on the Portland-based TV series 'Grimm' and actual events here in town.
For example, in the episode shown on Nov. 11, police investigated a crime committed in Chapman Square. Two days later, dozens of Occupy Portland protesters were arrested when police evicted them from Chapman Square.
The Dec. 8 episode revolved around a gifted teenage musician who moonlighted as a DJ. Just that morning, real-life DJ Jonathan Toubin was badly injured when a taxicab crashed into his room at the Jupiter Hotel. And, the Dec. 9 episode opened with an explosion destroying a local home. Two days early, Portland reporters covered a house fire and explosion in Washougal, Wash.
Writers of the fantasy-detective series could not have intentionally woven the incidents into the shows. All of them were filmed months before they aired, of course.