It makes no sense to even think about recalling Rep. Paul Holvey, one of our most outstanding Oregon legislators and a staunch labor advocate, but UFCW Local 555 is pushing on. His friends and political colleagues are organizing to fight this recall, and that’s an impressive group. The union says it’s got years of beef with Holvey and the Legislature not doing what UFCW wants them to, but we wonder what the heck is actually behind this. For one thing, other unions like SEIU Local 503 are backing Holvey. Somebody stands to benefit, and it’s not the workers Holvey has advocated for his whole career. Also, what about recalling the Republicans who have walked out of the Legislature and prevented important bills from being passed?
• Speaking of politics, the results of the May 16 special election are in. Despite a substantial lead, Ward 7 City Councilor Lyndsie Leech didn’t get the more than 50 percent she needed to win, so she will face second highest vote-getter Barbie Walker in the fall. Leech was appointed by the council to replace Claire Syrett, whose spurious recall foreshadowed the current efforts to get rid of Paul Holvey. Neighborhood NIMBY Paul Conte, the subject of several recent letters to the editor, was a major force behind the Syrett recall; the candidate he backed, Janet Ayres, only garnered 19 percent of the vote.
• Federal Judge Ann Aiken announced her retirement from active service in time for President Joe Biden to name a replacement. The announcement said that she will step down Dec. 20, or when Biden names her successor, and “It is her intention to continue to render substantial judicial service as a senior judge.” That was wise on Aiken’s part in these turbulent political times. The current Supreme Court is a good reminder of why it matters who appoints the judges. Aiken herself was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton and approved by the Senate in 1998. She was chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon from 2009 to 2016 and was the first woman to hold that position on the Oregon court.
• In food and drink news, we’ve gotten press releases about two popular establishments up for sale. Falling Sky Brewery founder-turned-business-broker Rob Cohen says in an email that Cornbread Cafe’s “visionary owner, Sheree Walters, needs to sell her groundbreaking business in order to take care of her ailing parents.” He says Cornbread “received national acclaim being the first vegan restaurant featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The press release says Walters’ “goal is to sell Cornbread Cafe to someone that will carry the torch and take it to new places.” Back in May, Cohen announced that Gratitude Brewing is up for sale as well.
• Oregon is supposed to be a clean and green state. So how do we explain our dirty history of former Gov. John Kitzhaber leaving office with ethics violations and former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt later admitting to raping a 14-year-old girl while he was in office? And now we have Shemia Fagan, recently resigned Oregon secretary of state, under federal investigation after allegations of a long list of violations in regard to her work with the cannabis industry. Maybe we’re green, but not so clean.