News Briefs

County Chair offers apology
After a year filled with controversial decisions on the librarysystem, snow days for county employees and allowing same-sexmarriages, Multnomah County Chair Diane Linn issued a statementyesterday apologizing for not allowing more public involvement inher decision making process.

Linn decided to issue the statement because she felt issuessurrounding the 2004-05 county budget, which was releasedyesterday, would not be addressed adequately unless she addressedthe controversy that has surrounded her administration, accordingto the Oregonian.

“After a lot of soul-searching and discussions with a lot ofpeople, I feel I owe the community an apology,” Linn said in aninterview with the Oregonian. “I have made mistakes and thisapology comes with no equivocations. It’s my responsibility and I’mowning up to it.”

Linn’s statement particularly focused on the exclusion of CountyCommissioner Lonnie Roberts from her decision to allow same-sexmarriages in the county.

“I understand that I let the public and Commissioner Robertsdown, by not being more open about the process,” Linn said in thestatement. “It will not happen again.”

Linn also emphasized that her statement is not to be construedas regretting allowing same-sex marriages.

“I am very proud of the role we played in bringing legalequality to the more than 3,000 families who had been denied thisright previously,” she said. “I do not regret for one moment mysupport from [sic] marriage equality in Multnomah County.”

Portland to receive $8 million for homeland security
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith announced Wednesday thatthe Oregon Department of State Police will receive $8,112,992 tobeef up homeland security preparedness in the Portland area.

The funds will come from a grant awarded by the Urban AreaSecurity Initiative Grant Program, a division of the nationalDepartment of Homeland Security’s Office for DomesticPreparedness.

The money will be used to help Portland prevent, deter, respondto and recover from threats and incidents of terrorism.

“More resources at the local level will let Portland’s firstresponders address the many security and preparedness challengesthey must tackle in the near term,” Wyden said in a pressrelease.

“The Oregon State Police put their heart and soul into servingand protecting Oregonians from threat and danger,” Smith said.”With the continuation of the War on Terror, it is important toensure that they have every resource available to them to carry ontheir good work.”

Too much coffee?
A controversial Starbucks coffee shop was struck with a molotovcocktail and had three windows broken by vandals Tuesday night.

The store, located on Southeast 20th Avenue and Division Street,has drawn opposition from neighbors, who have expressed concernsthat the mega-corporation will have a detrimental effect on localbusinesses and the neighborhood, and that the company damages theenvironment and promotes unfair labor practices.

Starbucks is offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest of anyoneinvolved with the vandalism.