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Jefferson teacher told to speak no evil

The dissent continues at the Jefferson High Campus, this time with teachers wondering whether principal Leon Dudley is attempting to quash their right to free speech.

It started when a teacher sent an e-mail to the staff Thursday morning, questioning the 'wiseness' of scheduling a two-hour Black History Month assembly that subsequently was canceled.

'Once again it appears hastily made decisions are resulting in us shooting ourselves in the foot,' the teacher wrote.

Five minutes later, another teacher reports, Dudley called that teacher by phone and 'shouted at her, giving her a 'direct order' to never send out any more negative e-mails.'

Smile, you're on Karlock's camera

A six-and-a-half-minute video of an exchange between state Rep. Greg Macpherson and Portland gadfly Jim Karlock has local politicos buzzing.

The video was shot by Karlock at a recent town hall meeting held by Macpherson in a Lake Oswego public school to discuss Measure 37 and other issues facing the Oregon Legislature.

When Macpherson realizes that Karlock is videotaping the session, he asks who he is, why he is there, and how the audience feels about the taping.

Karlock identifies himself as the operator of the 'moderately anti-establishment' Debunkingportland.com and Saveportland.com Web sites, which, he says, are dedicated to refuting the myths Portland's reputation is based on.

Macpherson and some audience members question whether the taping is legal. One audience member is heard saying, 'What is your intention?'

Karlock insists he does the same thing all the time in Portland - which prompts someone off camera to remind him that he's now in Lake Oswego.

The exchange ends with Karlock asking whether anyone would object if he was from KATU (2), to which at least one audience member answers yes. The NW Republican blog accuses Macpherson of attempting to intimidate Karlock, but postings on other sites found the exchange more amusing than threatening.

Cogen looks to boost tax-cut cred

Not to be outdone by another former City Hall policy wonk turned elected leader, Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen may be following in city Commissioner Sam Adams' footsteps - as a tax cutter.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners last week approved a Cogen proposal to convene a 'Business Income Tax Reform Workgroup' to study whether the county should reform its business income tax in ways similar to Adams-proposed reforms made to the city's business license fee - which is really a business income tax.

The city and county business income taxes have been almost identical in how they're assessed. And both have been equally lambasted by local business leaders for creating what critics say is an 'anti-business' environment.

But after months of work, Adams, former chief of staff to former Portland Mayor Vera Katz, got the City Council to approve a moderate city business tax cut in January. The change increased the minimum a business can make before the tax kicks in, and allows owners to deduct more for their own compensation.

Now Cogen, a former chief of staff to city Commissioner Dan Saltzman, wants to study whether the county might make similar changes. The work group is supposed to make its final recommendations to county commissioners April 5.

'Our goal is to make the (county income tax) more fair and equitable for all county businesses,' Cogen said in a release.

- Tribune staff

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