April 24: Portland Public Schools makes significant cuts
PPS recently cut 65 jobs from its central office, according to The Oregonian. People in many key positions have been laid off, and others have resigned since superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero began reorganizing the district in October. Guerrero cites budget woes as a primary motivation for the cuts and centralized some central office responsibilities directly to the superintendent’s office. Guerrero was hired last in October 2017 in the wake of the district’s lead water crisis.
April 24: Forest service to impose permits in wilderness areas
A United States Forest Service plan to limit entry into five Oregon wilderness areas to those who have purchased a permit is in its final stages of approval, The Statesman Journal reported. The USFS seeks to mitigate crowding and damage to sensitive wildlife areas. Permits would cost between $6–12. The change is expected to take effect in summer 2019 and would apply to Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo Lake and Diamond Peak wilderness areas.
April 25: Farm Bill creates concern over food security
In their 2018 Farm Bill—a $100 billion measure that aims to subsidize agriculture and food assistance programs—House Republicans are pushing to slash food stamps for Americans by $20 billion over the next ten years and impose stricter work requirements on recipients. According to Vox, The farm bill already passed through the House Committee on Agriculture on Republican votes alone, but it is not clear if it will have enough support to pass the House floor in May. Republicans say the proposal will reduce poverty and increase the self-sufficiency of the recipients, but poverty experts argue it will “ultimately have dire public health consequences, like increasing food insecurity.”
April 26: Cosby found guilty of sexual assault
Bill Cosby was convicted of three accounts of sexual assault on Thursday, April 26. According to CNN, The 80-year-old celebrity comic faces up to 10 years in prison for each count but will most likely serve his sentences out concurrently. Cosby is currently out on $1 million bail, but must remain in one of his several homes. Cosby’s had previously gone on trial in 2017 in a case that centered on testimony from six women who said he had drugged and assaulted them, which was declared a mistrial.
April 27: Skyscraper might replace downtown food carts
According to The Oregonian, half of the Alder Street food cart pod at 936 SW Washington St. might become a 33-story tower, one of the tallest in the city. The plans, which take advantage of the height bonuses detailed in the City of Portland’s Central City 2035, are in early stages, and it is not yet clear whether they will be approved.