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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Scads of interesting local tidbits on Monday. What a bounty.

A Multnomah County judge slapped the city's hands for improperly using sewer and water money on two projects...and the city was overjoyed. Officials are claiming victory, saying the judge's ruling took the heart out of a years-old lawsuit by disagreeing with plaintiffs about what constitutes illegal expenditures under the city charter.

Also, we met the newest candidate for city council. Nick Caleb, an attorney and professor who's been active in pushing new water policy, says he'll take on Commissioner Dan Saltzman, on a platform of a $15 minimum wage. Such proposals have caught fire in places like Seattle, but Portland's been notably mum. Will that change with Caleb's campaign?

And stop pouting about your damn Trader Joe's. Mayor Charlie Hales' office announced the city's been working to smooth things over with leaders of the African American community who helped scuttle the deal. The mayor will pledge more affordable housing and beg the grocery chain to come back into the fold.

Still no sign of a Malaysian flight that disappeared en route to Beijing on Saturday, but it looks like both men who boarded the plane using stolen passports were Iranian. Authorities are doubtful the men—one of whom is a 19-year-old who was attempting to meet his mother in Germany—are connected to any terror activity.

We wouldn't even be curious about those two guys if more countries subscribed to a database of stolen passports that's been available for more than a decade.

This antipathy between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA is getting still worse, with Sen. Diane Feinstein publicly accusing the agency of spying. Which is the CIA's job, after all, but senate staffers are more special than the rest of us.

President Obama, meanwhile, is spending his time Between Two Ferns.

New Supreme Court ruling! This time, they've come for our bike paths.

A military judge has suspended the prosecution of a US Army general accused of sexually assaulting one of his subordinates. Because we've realized the armed forces have a problem with this kind of thing, and we're taking it seriously.

Good news:

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Typical rookie mistake that, frankly, I'm sick of seeing: If you're buying a bearded dragon, you can't be afraid to drop $400.


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