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Stens posh place goes up for grabs

Sources Say

In September, Sources Say revealed that low-income housing champion Erik Sten had purchased a 5,000-square-foot home in Southwest Portland - complete with swimming pool - for $1.285 million.

Sten said at the time that the purchase, aided by an inheritance, 'won't quell my passion for affordable housing.'

However, the cushy crib contributed to speculation earlier this year that the city commissioner's decision to step down from office this April would enable him to enjoy his new life of luxury.

Well, Sources Say now can report that Sten and his wife have placed their new home on the market, asking $1.375 million. This does not come as a surprise: In September, Sten told Sources Say that his family soon might sell the house for a variety of reasons - reasons he didn't care to discuss.

On Friday, he told Sources Say he's considering some job offers, 'and with that in mind, we're selling our place and giving ourselves some more flexibility.' He expects to announce in the next month or so what his next phase will be.

Insults may make up for lack of injuries

Poor Jeff Merkley. First the House speaker from Portland was bashed by Republicans for neglecting Eastern Oregon while campaigning for U.S. Senate.

Then last week, in Eastern Oregon - two days after a debate appearance in Pendleton - Merkley was heading to Sisters when his car overturned after hitting an icy patch.

Fortunately, Merkley and an aide driving the car were uninjured.

Unfortunately, his critics probably will fault him for being a city slicker unable to navigate winter roads east of the Cascades.

Cop's shopping for work again

Longtime cops talk about how risky it can be to hire a new chief from an outside agency. Well, Mark Paresi has seen both sides of it.

Eight years ago, when he was a Portland assistant chief, Los Angeles Police Department import Mark Kroeker beat him out to be Portland's top cop. Then, on the flip side, Paresi was hired to head the police department in North Las Vegas.

Unfortunately for him, last October he saw the flip side again, when he was placed on leave before he was shown the door. Little birds in North Las Vegas told Sources Say the resentments of the Portland import never dwindled - including because Paresi hired a number of other Portlanders.

In fact, one of the precipitating factors for his firing may have been his October hiring of Phil Harper, a Portland cop who'd retired to take the job down south.

Although Harper was well-regarded here, Las Vegas officers apparently spread rumors about his hiring, which may have contributed to Paresi's firing.

Things worked out OK for Harper, who bowed out of the job offer and was quickly rehired in Portland.

- Tribune staff