In today’s news, Gresham bus rapid transit plan watered down, Wapato Jail might sell today and Wheeler’s no-cause eviction plan faces roadblock.
1. Community unenthused about bus rapid transit plan
The rapid-bus plan was intended to connect Portland to Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, but the plan has been pared down. It will now only operate between downtown Portland and the Gresham Transit Center. A steering committee pushed back a decision on the plan until next month, the Oregonian reports, to build support in the community. Many view the plan as a commuter line from the wealthy areas of Gresham to downtown Portland, instead of connecting the poorer neighborhoods as originally intended.
2. County awaits Wapato Jail financing today
A buyer for the jail has until this afternoon to prove he can pay the $9 million he offered. Gary Russo, the buyer, has a history of unpaid debts and no experience with a purchase of this magnitude, the Portland Tribune reports. The Board of Commissioners will move on to other offers if Russo fails to come up with the financing.
3. Portland Mayor-elect’s no-cause eviction plan faces legal roadblocks
Ted Wheeler promised to restrict no-cause evictions as part of his mayoral campaign, but a state legal opinion says that might not be possible. Instead, the city could pass a bill that required landlords to fund tenants’ moving costs for evictions on month-to-month leases, Willamette Week reports. Wheeler says he hopes to move forward with at least some of his plan without the need for legislative involvement.
4. Oregon Promise on track
About 6,000 students state-wide are taking advantage of the new community college funding program. The Oregonian reports that’s as expected for the first year of the program. Funding, however, has only been allocated through 2017. The higher education commission is awaiting approval to receive additional funding. These projections are likely to motivate lawmakers to maintain Oregon Promise in the future.
5. Oregon’s Pinot market keeps on trucking — to California
As we reported here, California buyers are snapping up Oregon vineyards. The Statesman Journal has more on that trend. Local vineyards, the paper reports, gain marketing advantage by selling to larger vineyards.
6. Tiny home market struggles
Despite the initial popularity brought on by shows like “Tiny House Hunters,” the market for tiny homes has stalled. The Bend Bulletin reports there’s too many roadblocks in place for those interested in purchasing the micro-homes. Financing is also an issue. Tiny home builders are now turning to food carts to supplement income.
7. Spotted frog lawsuit settled
The Center for Biological Diversity partnered with Waterwatch of Oregon to file two complaints against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and five Oregon irrigation districts for harming the Oregon spotted frog. The spotted frog was listed as a threatened species in 2014. The settlement requires that irrigation districts will keep the Upper Deschutes River at a minimum 100 cubic feet per second to provide a more stable water supply, according to the Capital Press.
8. From the Magazine: Bootstrapped
A conversation with Leslie Lane, president of Dr. Martens Americas division.