Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Portland

Inside Portland (Jun 17th, 2019)

We've got a great couple days ahead, with partly sunny to fully sunny weather and highs in the 70s.

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

1. The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered Oregon's Court of Appeals to revisit the case against a Gresham bakery that refused to serve a lesbian couple. Across the country, bakeries have become legal hubs for gay marriage laws to play out. In Gresham, Sweet Cakes by Melissa lost its battle against an anti-discrimination lawsuit. Owners were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages, and that figure was upheld by Oregon's Court of Appeals. As it sent the case back to Oregon, the Supreme Court urged officials to consider a recent ruling in favor of a Colorado bakery. Instead of addressing the discrimination against the gay couple, the Supreme Court ruled that the state shows "clear hostility" against the baker's religious beliefs. – KTVZ

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

2. Oregon's hopes for campaign finance reform are dead—at least for this legislative session. A bill that would've addressed Oregon's virtually lawless campaign finance world died in the Senate after passing through the House. Currently, there are no limits on campaign contributions. The bill would've limited contributions to $2,800 for statewide candidates, though it's effectively double that for candidates that make it out of a primary election. Campaign finance reform (somewhat ironically) became a key issue for Gov. Kate Brown during the 2018 campaign—Oregon's most expensive race in history. Though the bill is dead, lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to let voters weigh in on the issue. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

3. By the Numbers: 2018 Campaign Funding

5 – That's how many states allow for unlimited campaign contributions. Oregon is one of them.

57 percent – According to a recent report, that's the percentage of 2018 candidate contributions that came from so-called large donors who give more than $5,000.

7 percent – Just seven percent of candidate contributions came from individuals giving $250 or less.

14 – That's how many individual donors ("megadonors") gave more than $100,000 during the 2018 campaign, making up 25 percent of all individual donation dollars.

$4.7 million – Combined, those 14 megadonors poured $4.7 million into the 2018 gubernatorial race.

$3.8 million – Of that megadonor money, a huge proportion of it ($3.8 million) went to Republican candidate Knute Buehler.

$2.5 million – Nike co-founder Phil Knight topped the donor list, giving $2.5 million to Buehler.

89 percent – That's the proportion of funding for measure campaigns that came from groups (businesses, labor unions, etc.)

20 – 60 percent of statewide candidate contributions came from just 20 zip codes, 12 of them in the Portland metro area. – STATESMAN JOURNAL

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

4. Any Beavers out there may take pride in the fact that OSU is angling to become the world epicenter of hemp research. Last week, OSU officials started planting hemp at their new North Willamette Research and Extension Center outside Aurora. In total, more than 40 OSU faculty members are researching hemp in 19 different disciplines at 10 research facilities around the state. Their goals include establishing industry standards in the new and fairly chaotic hemp industry. This isn't the first time OSU pushed for hemp research. OSU had a national hemp research center from the 1880s, right up until 1937's Marihuana Tax Act effectively started cannabis prohibition. – CORVALLIS GAZETTE-TIMES

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

5. Wildlife officials are urging Oregonians not to feed bears after being forced to kill a black bear near Hagg Lake. Earlier this month, officials were tipped off to a local black bear making rounds on social media. They say the bear had been fed so often, it lost its fear of humans. Deputies attempted to shoo the bear away, but it kept returning to populated areas. Wildlife officials say bears who lose their fear of humans are drastically more likely to eventually have a problematic encounter, and relocation doesn't solve the problem, so officials ultimately decided to euthanize the bear. – KGW

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

6. The German company that owns Stumptown (and other brands you'd recognize) is working to address its recently uncovered Nazi roots. That leaves our local coffee roaster in an awkward position. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

7. The summer burn bans have begun, a month earlier than usual. Starting today and until further notice, Clark County is banning land clearing and residential burning. – KATU

8. The people behind the Exploding Kittens card game and The Oatmeal comic strip are planning a gaming convention for Portland in May 2020. There will be a dunk tank filled with La Croix. On the one hand, that's really all you need to know, but on the other hand, I have so many questions. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

9. Why are people climbing out of the sewer in NW Portland? Where are they coming from? What the hell is going on here? I really hope one of you out there can help me figure this out, because I need to know. – KGW

10. Did you miss the Pride Parade? The Oregonian has you covered with a rainbow-filled photo essay. – THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Schuyler Durham writes Inside Portland and Inside Finance. He’s a lifelong Portlander who got his start covering the local music scene, but later became enamored with the complexities of financial and political reporting. After three years in broadcast news, he's now diving back into the digital realm. You can keep up with his writing on Twitter at @SchuylerWriter or watch him goof around on Instagram at @bitterbuddha.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

  • Email gray

Subscribe to Inside Portland