Waterfront plan gets a yes

The Portland City Council on Wednesday approved the North Macadam Plan, calling for 140 acres of housing, offices, restaurants and greenway trails stretching 6,500 feet along the west bank of the Willamette River.

Mayor Vera Katz said the project is a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity and a chance to expand the bioscience industry in Portland.

The council also approved a design competition for a controversial aerial tram stretching from Oregon Health & Science University on Marquam Hill to Southwest Bond Street, near the North Macadam development. Gordon Davis of Portland Aerial Transportation Inc. said officials are considering 15 worldwide firms for the work and soon will narrow the field to six or seven.

The area's trails, which already have been sprayed with seed, will be 150 feet wide at some points. The city zoning code requires at least a 100-foot setback from the river. The plan includes building height bonuses in exchange for parks, affordable housing and environmental improvements.

Artharee to leave PDC

The Portland Development Commission's deputy director, Baruti Artharee, will leave the agency this week to take over as Providence Health System's director of diversity initiatives.

He will be replaced by Wyman Winston, currently the PDC's director of housing.

Wednesday, the agency's commissioners presented Artharee with a resolution honoring his 'dedication, leadership and wisdom,' and a gift of a snow globe. PDC employees took up a collection to give him a trip to Vancouver, B.C.

Artharee, who until recently also was being recruited to lead the Urban League of Portland, had been at PDC for five years. He previously served as director of housing at PDC. Before joining the urban renewal agency, Artharee served as director of the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department.

He also worked in the private sector, at Boise Cascade Corp. in sales and marketing and as president of Coast Industries. Artharee continues to serve as chairman of the Urban League's board.


Fox to televise Blazers

Fox Sports Net, capitalizing on the recent demise of Paul Allen's sports channel, will begin broadcasting Portland Trail Blazers games Wednesday.

Fox will broadcast 30 Blazer games this season on cable systems that carry the network in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Terms of the multiyear contract, which calls for 35 televised games in subsequent seasons, were not disclosed.

Blazer cable games previously were shown on Allen's Action Sports Cable Network. But the network never appeared in Portland because the Blazer organization and AT&T Broadband could not reach a carriage agreement.

ASCN ceased operations Nov. 4.

Erin Hubert, the Blazers' executive vice president, said Fox and the team began talking immediately after ASCN shut down.

'They do so much business with other teams, and we'd talked to them in the past as we've looked at our options,' Hubert said.

The Blazer games will appear on networks only as far north as Chehalis, Wash., a boundary imposed by the NBA. The arrangement ensures that Seattle SuperSonics games are telecast throughout most of Washington. The Blazers broadcasting network will continue to produce the games.

Hubert said the team lost no advertisers as a result of the ASCN shutdown.

She added that she didn't know how much money Allen lost on ASCN. The Charlotte, N.C.-based SportsBusinessJournal said Allen reportedly had invested $25 million in the network.


Experts to speak

Three nationally recognized domestic security experts will visit Portland next week to lobby for a training project being led by Portland Police Chief Mark Kroeker.

The National Center for Disaster Decision Making, to be constructed in the Portland metro area, would train emergency officials to make better decisions in the midst of a disaster.

Project leaders are in the process of scouting a site and securing $4 million in funding from Congress for the facility's first year.

The three experts hail from the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, a defense think tank based in Washington, D.C. They are Randy Larsen, director; David McIntyre, deputy director; and Elin Gursky, the institute's senior fellow for biodefense and public health problems.


Deadline set for church

Portland police have given officials at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church until Nov. 30 to sign a formal nuisance abatement agreement governing conduct by homeless and low-income people who visit church property on Southeast 11th Avenue.

Police and neighbors have sought the agreement to reduce crime problems associated with the church's programs for the homeless. Southeast Precinct Cmdr. Stanley Grubbs says that if an agreement cannot be worked out, he will ask Portland Mayor Vera Katz or the city attorney's office to file suit to seize the adjacent St. Francis Park under the city's Chronic Nuisance Property Ordinance.

Grubbs made his demand in a Nov. 8 letter to pastoral administrator Valerie Chapman. The letter included eight requirements to be included in the agreement.

Among other things, Grubbs wants the church to close St. Francis Park for 180 days and to hire professional security guards when the church is offering free meals and other services to the homeless and low-income people.

Chapman says she has contacted a lawyer about how to respond.


Air show axed

The Rose Festival Association and the Hillsboro Chamber announced Thursday the cancellation of the 2003 air show. Officials said it is doubtful the show will return in future years.

The show attracted as many as 75,000 spectators annually during its 15-year run. It drew big-name acts such as the U.S. Air Force's Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. But Rose Festival Association Executive Director Dick Clark said it was too risky financially to continue staging it.

'There are a lot of air shows around the country that are competing for those (acts), so there was no guarantee we could continue to draw those,' Clark said.

Clark conceded the show had generated increasing concern among the growing population in the vicinity of Hillsboro Airport; some people complained of having to leave their homes and businesses during the performances, and others were put off by the noise and traffic.

Hillsboro Chamber Executive Director Deanna Palm said her organization has been considering ending its involvement in the event for about four months. Palm said the chamber is working to schedule other community events in place of the air show but cannot disclose yet what they said.

Ñ Tribune staff

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