The start of the 2012 Oregon legislative session couldn't come fast enough for Portland mayoral candidates Eileen Brady and Charlie Hales. Both have raised far less money than state Rep. Jefferson Smith this year.
By the beginning of this week, Smith had reported raising nearly $129,000 in 2012 compared to about $80,000 by Brady and a little more than $39,000 by Hales.
But Oregon House rules prevent Smith from raising campaign funds during the session, which is scheduled to end early next month.
Brady is still the overall fundraising leader, however. The New Seasons co-founder passed the $551,000 mark this week.
Hales, a former city commissioner, is second at almost $316,000. Smith is third - where he will remain for at least a few more weeks - at slightly less than $296,000.
Pressing for the paper industry
A Portland Tribune story about the shrinking Northwest paper industry inspired Working Families Party policy adviser Barbara Dudley to do something about it.
Dudley, who also is an adjunct professor at Portland State University, helped bring labor leaders and environmentalists together to craft solutions. One outcome is House Bill 4142, a bill before the Oregon Legislature this session that has won bipartisan support.
The bill, which had its first hearing Wednesday, would grant a preference for government purchases of recycled paper made in Oregon, as long as it doesn't exceed the cost of other supplies by more than 10 percent.
China has been bidding up the price of recycled paper. As a result, much of the paper collected at the curbside in the United States isbeing shipped to China. That has deprived some Northwest mills of the raw material they use to make paper.
Dudley says the bill has the support of labor, the recycling industry, environmentalists and management. The one exception, she says, is Georgia Pacific, owned by the Koch brothers, and its lobbyist Mark Nelson.
Truth gets hazed
Like the classic Japanese film 'Rashomon,' there are many versions of the truth regarding what happened nearly a month ago in the boys' locker room at Grant High School.
As demonstrated by the case of the Feb. 1 fraudulent interview subject broadcast on KGW (8), who claimed to be an aunt to one of the victims, public interest in the scandal is rampant. Willamette Week first reported the story Monday about the TV interview with a person pretending to be a relative of a hazing victim.
Portland Public Schools officials confirmed this week that families of the two hazing victims contacted the school district and said the KGW interview was false. The district made that information available to KGW, which agreed to pull the story from its website, but apparently was reluctant to issue a correction or an apology.
Officials said details in the woman's story were not only untrue, she also 'provided graphic details of things that didn't happen.'
Even within the Grant community, the truth has diverged into wild rumors. Students and teachers are beginning to separate fact from fiction, using the situation as a springboard for discussion.
Many ask: Why has the media continued to call it hazing? First, no one but the boys in the locker room knows exactly what happened that day, or the circumstances surrounding it. Terms have been tossed about in the media, but it's all hearsay.
Police sex crime detectives are investigating alleged incidents that 'go beyond simple hazing.'