Sources Say

Three yeses add up to a couplet

The sophisticated pursuit of crafting the future of the heart of downtown appears to be devolving into a crass, age-old City Hall tradition - of counting votes.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday the City Council will take up Commissioner Sam Adams' controversial push to turn West Burnside and Northwest Couch streets into a couplet of one-way streets between the Willamette River and Interstate 405, and little birds say Adams has been privately telling people he has three votes to make it a reality.

So which commissioners would join him? Randy Leonard reportedly has hopped on board the Adams train, and the second yes is thought to be Erik Sten - despite his public stance of being undecided.

Mayor Tom Potter is said to have concerns about extending it all the way to Northwest 19th Avenue, and is thought to be more open to a Northwest 15th Avenue terminus.

Dan Saltzman, meanwhile, told Sources Say that while he hasn't made up his mind, he has serious concerns about the price tag and practicality of the idea, saying, 'I'm actually having more questions about it than I ever have before.'

Activist Chris Smith, who supports the idea, said he assumes Adams has the votes, saying that Wednesday the commissioner 'is going for it … (and) he's a pretty good vote-counter.'

Steak can't be this sexy

Sorry, ladies - Isaac Hart has bad news to report: He's taken, in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend.

The good news: The 27-year-old Portland firefighter-in-training is one of the top 10 male finalists in PETA's national search for the 'sexiest vegetarian next door.'

The Northwest Portland resident, who grew up on a farm in Corvallis, said he went vegan about a year ago, just two months after adopting vegetarianism and inspired by both the health benefits and concerns for animal treatment and the environment.

Getting over the cravings for meat at first was tough, he said, but plenty of options abound. He especially can't live without the tempeh Reuben at Proper Eats cafe in St. Johns.

Although he's getting his share of flak from friends over his current title, he's using the platform to promote PETA's campaign that being vegetarian equals sexy. 'Being vegan gets more blood to every part of the body,' he says nonchalantly.

If you want Hart to win PETA's contest, go to and vote: The winner gets seven days in sunny Maui.

Labor gets a role reversal

In many union drives, the activists trying to organize their workplace risk their jobs and personal safety, and often have to engage in covert door-to-door tactics.

At the Portland Development Commission, however, it's a wee bit different.

Thanks to a City Council vote to protect workers' right to vote on whether to join a local union, Council 75 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has been cruising toward a vote count scheduled for May 1, and activists like Julie Rawls, public affairs coordinator for the PDC, walk about the building wearing buttons - while the opponents of unionization are the ones being covert.

'They'll post things in the lunchroom, but nobody says who it is,' Rawls says. 'They're being very subversive. The fact that they won't come forward and identify themselves is very telling.'

-Tribune staff

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