Sources Say: Columbia Sportswear protest echoes previous clash
Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle might want to recall that the last time protesters targeted a downtown Portland business, it was forced to close its doors.
Protesters gathered outside the company's flagship store on Southwest Broadway on Saturday after Boyle complained about the homeless threatening his employees and Mayor Ted Wheeler designated a new high-pedestrian-traffic no-sit zone around the store.
Protest leaders are promising to return every Saturday until all such designations are lifted. They accuse Wheeler of catering to Boyle because he contributed $1,500 to his campaign for mayor.
Schumacher Furs and Outerwear at Southwest Ninth Avenue and Morrison Street went out of business in early 2007, after more than a year of protests by anti-fur activists. Owners of the 112-year-old local company complained the activists even prevented them from relocating into suburban malls by threatening to protest any new location.
The Portland Business Alliance supports Wheeler's new designation, saying high-pedestrian-traffic zones have been used in downtown for year "to address discrete issues that impede the ability to safely navigate public sidewalks." The business group also supports more housing and services for the homeless, and contributed to the campaign to pass the November 2016 affordable housing bond.
Council candidates face bad press
Three candidates for next year's open City Council seat are dealing with unfavorable publicity.
Seth Woolley, secretary of the Pacific Green Party of Oregon, has filed an election complaint against Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith. It accuses Smith of violating the county charter by running for the council seat without first resigning. The Multnomah County Charter says Smith is complying with the charter if she does not file for the office until January.
Woolley also accuses Smith of violating voter-approved fundraising limits by accepting contributions larger than $500. Oregon courts repeatedly have struck down contribution limits, however, and the restriction currently is being reviewed by a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge.
In addition, Willamette Week reported that Andrea Valderrama, a mayoral staffer, was arrested for driving under the influence four years ago. She has apologized. And Northwest Portland neighborhood leader Felicia Williams is being accused by the NW Examiner newspaper of contradicting previously held positions.
Fish draws another challenger
Frequent candidate Jim Whittenburg says he is running against Commissioner Nick Fish in next year's City Council election.
Fish, who is undergoing treatment for abdominal cancer, is easily leading the fundraising race at this point. He has reported raising over $43,000 in cash and in-kind contributions so far this year. Recent major contributions include $10,000 from United Food & Commercial Workers Local 555.
The only announced challenger with a campaign committee, environmentalist Julie DeGraw, has reported raising less than $5,000 to date. Only one contribution is over $200.
Fish is still the only candidate to formally file for the position.