News Briefs

Blumenauer fancies a possible go

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer hinted at his vision for higher ed in the Portland area Monday while addressing party faithful at the 21st Avenue Bar and Grill.

When local democratic mover and shaker Jefferson Smith asked Blumenauer where he would build a “top-notch” research institution in Portland, “at PSU or elsewhere,” the long-time Portlander and former PSU employee replied that a number of institutions have strengths – his list: OHSU, Reed, Lewis and Clark – but none of them enough research power to be called a “tier 1” research university.

Blumenauer made it clear that he did not want to jump to conclusions, but would be investigating opportunities to strengthen higher ed as September nears, the time when he’s said he would make an announcement about running for mayor of Portland.

Earth money

The McKenzie River Gathering Foundation recently awarded $125,000 to grassroots organizations throughout Oregon, helping groups that work for environmental protection, economic justice and human rights.

For more information and a list of the groups that received money this spring, log onto

Bus tracks be gone

The Portland Mall Revitalization Project is holding public hearings to review conceptual designs of a plan to rework Fifth and Sixth avenues. The two streets are currently reserved for bus traffic for most of their path through the city, with kiosks and bus maps replacing city commerce. Do you want to see that changed? Do you want to see that stay? Visit the open houses, held next week, and voice your opinion: Tuesday, July 8, noon-1:30 p.m. and 4-6 p.m., Portland Building, Room C, 1120 S.W. Fifth Ave.; Wednesday, July 9, 5-6:30 p.m., Port of Portland Building, Commission Room, 121 N.W. Everett St.; Thursday, July 10, 5-7 p.m., PSU Urban Center, 2nd Floor Gallery.

Nearing completion

The Native American Student and Community Center is nearing the end of its construction. The building, located on S.W. Jackson between Broadway and Park, will be ready for the start of fall classes on Sept. 29, and will include study areas, classrooms and meeting spaces.

PSU raised nearly $4 million to construct the center. The money came from private donations, state bonds, federal funding and student building fees.

The free grand-opening ceremony will take place Oct. 24 at noon and is open to the public.