Because of a transcribing error and our poor eyesight, Sources last week accidentally attributed a controversial quote from the City Council's recent FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force hearing to Commissioner Nick Fish. It was actually Commissioner Dan Saltzman who said, 'While the FBI has a checkered history, it doesn't do us any good to be sitting here and talking about things that happened 60 years ago or 50 years ago.'
Saltzman subsequently got a letter from Henry Sakamoto, vice president of Oregon Nikkei Endowment, chastising him for being insensitive to the suffering of Japanese-Americans who were rounded up and put in intern camps during WWII.
'Your dismissive comment is an affront to all of us who are dedicated to achieving equal treatment under the laws of the United States,' Sakamoto wrote.
Saltzman replied with a letter apologizing for the tone and content of the comments 'made at the end of a very lengthy debate.' He reiterated his support for rejoining the terrorism task force, however, saying the resolution approved by the council will 'protect civil liberties and make Portlanders safer, now and into the future.'
Our math is all wet
Sources also got confused about the separate and combined increases in proposed water and sewer rates. The projected Water Bureau increase during the next five years is 84.7 percent. The projected combined increase is 47.1 percent during that time.
Mayor Sam Adams is proposing a combined increase of 7.8 percent in next year's budget, 1 percent below the increase the two bureaus had requested, or about $3.7 million less.
That is unlikely to stop the growing backlash about water and sewer rate increases.
Politics takes a back seat
Although nobody wants to talk about it publicly, City Hall insiders are wondering whether the tragic death of Commissioner Randy Leonard's daughter will affect his decision to run for re-election.
Kara Leonard, who had battled depression and drug addiction, apparently killed herself Sunday.
Randy Leonard has not said whether he will seek another term in 2012. Some have thought he was growing tired of politics, although he brokered the recent agreement allowing Portland to rejoin the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force with conditions. His political action committee has not received any significant contributions in more than a year, however, even though potential challengers like political consultant Steve Novick have expressed interest in running for a council seat.
It's unlikely anyone will announce for Leonard's seat soon, although the campaign season is heating up. Commissioner Amanda Fritz has already announced for re-election. Although Mayor Sam Adams is staying mum for now, New Season's co-founder Eileen Brady is expected to soon announce for the seat. She has already filed a campaign committee, hired a scheduler and registered the www.eileenbradyformayor.com domain name.