Fearing rent control, Portland real estate developers back Loretta Smith

Loretta Smith, a Multnomah County Commissioner seeking a seat on the Portland City Council.

In the race for a seat on the Portland City Council, candidate Loretta Smith has quietly earned financial support from a key set of local power brokers: real estate developers.

That support has come during the run-up to Tuesday’s election, which many view as a make-or-break moment in the power struggle between real estate developers and tenants’ rights advocates to have the larger voice in City Hall.

Developers in particular worry that rent control may come to Portland if Smith, the underdog in the race, does not win.

On that front they see a likely ally in Smith, who has cast herself as a business-friendly moderate. Developers suspect her opponent, Jo Ann Hardesty, would be a surefire foe.

“Jo Ann believes in rent control. Loretta opposes rent control,” said John DiLorenzo, an attorney who represents apartment complex owners. “We’re dead-set against rent control,” he said, calling the prospect of limiting rents “an existential crisis” for Portland’s housing supply.

As a result, land owners, real estate brokers and construction executives have contributed vastly more to Smith than Hardesty, campaign finance disclosures show.

Smith, a two-term Multnomah County commissioner, has raised about $200,000 from developers since the May primary, when she finished 25 percentage points behind Hardesty. In that same time, Hardesty, a social justice advocate, former state representative and Navy veteran, has snapped up less than $20,000 from donors with real estate ties.

Smith said in a telephone interview that she has developers’ support her because of her moderate take on housing policy and her plan to open the never-used Wapato Jail as a homeless shelter. “They like the fact that I want to clean up the streets,” Smith said.

Hardesty, who declined to comment, has campaigned on a different approach to stanching Portland’s affordable housing and homelessness crises. She believes in vastly expanding renter protections and reforming how the police interact with the homeless. She has chosen some of Portland’s most progressive housing advocates as close advisers.

For developers, having a friend on the city council can be an invaluable asset. Builders have long had clout in City Hall. But they depend upon the mayor and commissioners for amenable zoning and building code rules — and occasional approval of their construction projects over the objections of neighborhood activists.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who is retiring from the council after 20 years, is a moderate who generally has not stood in the way of developers.

“We’re at a real pivotal moment in our city in my opinion,” said Tom Brenneke, a Smith supporter who is president of a local development firm. He likened Smith to Saltzman, calling both “balanced and predictable.”

Brenneke and three other real estate executives who have fundraised for Smith all said they support her in part because of her campaign to use Wapato as a homeless shelter and services center.

“Loretta had the guts to stand up and say, ‘Let’s do something productive with Wapato,'” Brenneke said, referencing Smith’s support for the plan despite opposition from the rest of the Multnomah County board of commissioners.

Smith strongly backs the Wapato shelter idea and has made it a central tenet of her city council campaign. She says people on the streets, most of whom struggle with addiction or mental health conditions, need a stable place indoors like the former jail would provide to get stabilized before finding housing.

Hardesty strongly opposes the plan, going so far as to call its supporters “idiots,” in part because it is not being spearheaded by the homeless. The never-used jail is located in an industrial part of far-north Portland far from bus lines, social services centers and neighborhoods. And many question the optics of having people sleep in former jail cells due to poverty or mental health needs.

Chris Nelson, co-founder of development firm Capstone Partners, said in an email he backs Smith’s Wapato plan as a “one bold (albeit controversial) partial solution to addressing this huge problem in our community.”

Moreover, builders said they find Smith more open-minded about development than Hardesty, who supports rent control, has spoken unfavorably about real estate incentives and briefly backed a moratorium on construction of luxury housing.

“Jo Ann made some statements that maybe made our industry nervous,” said Jim Mark, chief executive of commercial real estate firm Melvin Mark Companies. Mark cast Smith, on the other hand, as someone “you can get behind, but who you’re not going to agree with all the time.”

DiLorenzo, who has vocally opposed the city tenants union to which Hardesty is allied, put his views flatly, calling Hardesty “a radical.”

Jim Winkler, president of a firm that builds residential and commercial real estate, said his decision to back Smith was due in large part to what he said is a need for more rational policy coming from City Hall.

“I want someone who’s involved in the decision chain to listen,” Winkler said. “I think we’re more likely to get that with Loretta than Jo Ann.”

For her part, Smith said she’s demonstrated that open mindedness to developers during her eight years as a county commissioner.

“They know that I have an open door even if we disagree,” she said.

— Gordon R. Friedman


Delaware lawmaker accuses finance workers of political conflict

State Sen. Greg Lavelle (right) accuses state escheator Brenda Mayrack of an apparent conflict of interest for her political activity. (File/WHYY)

Delaware state Sen. Greg Lavelle wants the Delaware Public Integrity Commission to investigate the political activity of the leader of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council and the director of the Office of Unclaimed Property. The two are acting to benefit Democrats, the Republican claimed Thursday.

The accusations come just days after Democrats accused Lavelle of improperly coordinating campaign activity with a political action committee with which he has connections.

Lavelle says DEFAC chairman Michael Houghton and Brenda Mayrack, who is in charge of identifying and collecting unclaimed property, worked together through several PACs to support Democrats. Employees in those positions are responsible for helping delineate how much money state lawmakers have to work with as they craft the state budget, Lavelle said.

“I think they have a decision to make. If they want to be political people, that’s fine, go be political. This is America, that’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “But if you want to put yourself out as the chairman of DEFAC who has these serious and significant responsibilities, do that. Don’t do both.”

Houghton and Mayrack used three PACs — First State Forward PAC, Lincoln’s PAC, and Busy Individuals Make Better Organizers PAC — to coordinate support for Nnamdi Chukwuocha in his Democratic primary win over incumbent state Rep. Charles Potter in Wilmington, Lavelle said.

Even though the PAC contributions and expenditures were listed on the state’s campaign finance reporting system, Lavelle said it still seems improper to him. “I don’t think there’s anything illegal about it, so there’s no point in going to the attorney general … but that is why I’m going to bring this up with the Public Integrity Commission and ask them to take a look at it, because it is appearance and actual conflicts.”

Despite Lavelle’s complaint against the current head of DEFAC, the council was led for years by Bob Byrd, one of the most prominent lobbyists in the state. “I didn’t think that was a good idea either,” Lavelle said. “I objected to that years ago.”

Mayrack and Gov. John Carney’s spokesman both declined to comment on Lavelle’s accusation. Houghton didn’t answer a request for comment.

Lavelle expects to file his complaint with the Public Integrity Commission Friday.

His complaints come just days after Democrats accused Lavelle of improperly coordinating campaign mailings with a PAC where he serves as treasurer. First State First PAC also lists the same address as Lavelle’s home. Delaware Democratic Party executive director Jesse Chadderdon said mailers sent from the PAC violate the state campaign laws. “These things are being done to circumvent the rules and contribution limits and other things that the public relies on to make sure that the elections are fair,” he said.

Lavelle, who denied any impropriety, said it’s legal for him to coordinate with the PAC for these mailers because they’re a form of “issue advocacy.”

“They don’t say ‘vote for,’ they don’t say the election is on a particular day. It’s issue advocacy, which is permitted under law,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

State Democratic Party chairman Erik Raser-Schramm sent a complaint about the advertisements to the state election commissioner.


Kids First on Fox: Money Management

Image result for Money Management

In America, money is the number one cause of family arguments and divorce. Teaching your children smart financial charges at an early age, sets them up for successes later in life. Parents, there are ways to make this fun! Tonja Eagan, CEO of LifeSmart Youth, lays out interactive games that help them learn without even realizing it.




The Idaho State Department of Education is now accepting holiday card contest submissions from Idaho students in grades K-6.

Winning entries from each grade level will be published on the State Department of Education website, and one drawing will be selected for use as the department’s official holiday card. The artist who submits the winning design will receive cards for personal use. For a look at past winners and contest guidelines, click here.

Drawings should be on 8.5 x 11-inch paper in a landscape format and must be labeled on the back with the student’s name, grade, district, school, school district and teacher’s name.  Students are encouraged to completely fill the page but keep the design simple, using as many colors as they want. Students may use watercolors, colored paper, magic markers, crayons or a combination of those items.

The deadline for submitting artwork is Friday, Nov. 2. Entries should be mailed to Idaho State Department of Education, Holiday Card Contest, attn.: Rachelle Armstrong, P.O. Box 83720 Boise 83720-0027.


Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times from 1992-2017, will discuss the current state of American media, culture and politics at a free public event at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the Taco Bell Arena on the campus of Boise State University.

Sulzberger’s talk will be moderated by former Boise State University President Bob Kustra, host of Reader’s Corner on Boise State Public Radio, and feature questions from Boise State University students, faculty and the greater Boise community.

Sulzberger’s public appearance is part of a two-day visit to Boise State University with Walter Robb, a mentor, investor and advisor to food companies and their CEOs. Robb is the former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market and a Professor of the Practice at Boise State University. The two longtime business leaders will meet with students, faculty and others during their visit to campus.

Sulzberger led The Times for 25 years, during which time he presided over the digital and international expansion of the news organization. Today, The Times has more readers and subscribers than at any point in its 167-year history, with an average monthly audience of more than 130 million people and 3.5 million paid subscriptions. Under his leadership, The Times won 61 Pulitzer Prizes, doubling the paper’s total Pulitzer count.

His journalism career began at The Raleigh, N.C., Times in 1974. He moved to the Associated Press London bureau two years later. He joined The Times, the newspaper his family has controlled since 1896, as a correspondent in the Washington bureau in 1978.

Sulzberger remains the chairman of the board of The New York Times Company. His son A.G. Sulzberger succeeded him as publisher.


Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children is launching a new project called Preschool the Idaho Way. The project is aimed to developing high-quality, affordable preschool opportunities for Idaho families by equipping Idahoans with the tools and resources they need to create local solutions.

You can attend the launch party on Wednesday, Oct 10 from 5-7 p.m. at Lost Grove Brewing in Boise. The event is free and open to all ages.

JNU Plans To Place Teachers Under Conduct Of Central Services Rules

JNU Plans To Place Teachers Under Conduct Of Central Services Rules

The Jawaharlal Nehru University plans to place teachers under the Conduct of Central Services Rules, which would restrict them for making public statements against the administration, a member of the academic council said Friday. The varsity held its academic council meeting on Friday and the issue was part of the agenda, which the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) alleged was circulated only three-four days before the meeting.

The JNU administration passed the proposal of three online courses -MA in Sanskrit, Certificate of Proficiency in Computational Linguistics and Certificate of Proficiency in Pali, the varsity said. The academic council of the varsity also noted that efforts will be made to fill all the MPhil and PhD vacancies.

An academic council member said a discussion was held on the Conduct of Central Services Rules for teachers, which would mean they will not be allowed to express dissent.

He said there was discussion on it, but the vice-chancellor did not take their views into consideration.

In a statement, the JNUTA alleged teachers were not allowed to express their views on “crucial issues of academic relevance”.

“The JNU vice-chancellor once again didn’t allow members in the Academic Council to express their dissent. In the beginning of the meeting when various members tried to raise procedural issues, including several illegalities about the manner in which this meeting was convened, the chair didn’t allow anybody to speak,” they alleged.

The JNU regulations require the circulation of the council agenda 10 days before the meeting, but agenda papers did not reach any schools and centres before October 1 and for many, it reached on October 3, the JNUTA said.

“This purposeful delay has made it impossible for the schools and centres to engage fully with all the issues coming up in the academic council,” they said.

The dean of the School of Arts and Aesthetics is a statutory member of the academic council but the office has been illegally barred from participating in the meeting, they said.

“Prof Kavita Singh, the current dean, has written to the university administration several times since the last meeting, nominating another colleague on her behalf if her participation is unacceptable to the administration, but this appeal has gone unanswered,” the JNUTA said.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) had called for a strike on Fridaysince they were not invited to the academic council.

However, the varsity administration called their claims baseless. “The newly elected JNUSU panel is yet to be notified by the relevant body. JNUSU office-bearers are not members of the academic council but only special invitees,” the varsity said.

The varsity also said the outgoing JNUSU members were departed from academic council meeting due to “serious misbehaviour and misdemeanour” at an earlier academic council meeting.


Board exams set the base for successful life

Board Exams,Boards 2018,Studymate

The Class 10 and 12 Board examinations are, in many ways, among the most important milestones in the academic life of any student. The results of these examinations stay with students for life. They test not only the fundamentals of the students but also become the key factors in determining the course of their careers, according to a press release issued by Studymate.

The Studymate chain of learning centres in Delhi-NCR is conducting Road to Boards, a comprehensive programme to help students of Class 8th to 12th prepare and score more in the Board examinations.

Here is the second in a series of articles powered by Studymate in association with its Road to Boards programme. It focuses on the following reasons why board examinations deserve a serious approach:

1. A true measure of students’ merit

The Board examinations focus on evaluating students’ knowledge and understanding concepts. Students who score well in these usually have a strong grasp of the concepts. Most competitive exams test the ability of students to apply concepts. Without strong fundamentals, their ability to solve problems would be limited, which is why a thorough understanding of basic concepts is needed.

2. Class 10 Boards: Key to selecting the stream for higher education

Students have to choose a stream (Science, Commerce or Humanities) which they would like to pursue in senior school. Streams are allotted on the basis of the percentage score in Class 10 Board Exams. A high score can help students get the stream of their choice.

3. Class 12 Boards: Key to college admissions

Most higher education institutes, except Engineering and Medical, give very high weightage to the Board examination results. Every year, around 2.5 lakh students apply for admissions in Delhi University. Even for Engineering and Medical streams, it makes sense for students to keep their options open by scoring good marks in the Board examinations. A high percentage also gives students the advantage of pursuing undergraduate courses at leading universities in countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, United States and Britain.

4. Advantage for higher studies and professional career

Students with consistent academic performance are likelier to get admission in premier post graduate institutes or secure an opportunity to study abroad. The results of Board examinations also play a key role in the initial years of one’s career. Many leading organisations shortlist candidates for entry-level jobs on the basis of candidates’ educational record, which include Class 10 and 12 Board exam results.

“The entire process of preparing for the board examination, appearing for it as well as to handle the results, help in the students’ overall development by building their skills in planning, managing anxiety and dealing with the outcomes”, Arindam Lahiri, chief academic officer, Studymate, said, according to the press release.


University Of Kashmir, Universite Laval Jointly Awarded India-Canada Research Project

University Of Kashmir, Universite Laval Jointly Awarded India-Canada Research Project

The IC-IMPACTS has awarded a new Innovative Demonstration Initiatives (IDI) project in the deployment-ready stage of development to Kashmir University and Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada. The IC-IMPACTS or India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability’s IDI project has been awarded to Dr Manzoor A Shah of University of Kashmir and Prof Damase Khasa of the Universite Laval, Canada.

The IC-IMPACTS projects aim to improve the health, safety, and prosperity of communities in both nations through the introduction of new technologies in Canada and India, said a statement from Kashmir University.

Goals of the IDI range from encouraging technology transfer and knowledge through Canada-India research collaborations, fostering bilateral trade development between nations, and demonstrating the effectiveness of innovative technologies in the Canadian and Indian markets.

Applicants from Canada and India submitted applications during the call for proposals and after a rigorous review process, the top four projects were selected, which includes the one proposed by Dr Shah with Prof. Khasa to demonstrate testing and upscaling phytore mediation technology in real-world conditions on four sites-two in Canada and two in India- contaminated by heavy metals.

According to the statement, Dr Manzoor Shah is already coordinating another Indo-Canadian project supported by DBT and IC-IMPACTS jointly with University of Alberta and University Laval, Canada.

IC-IMPACTS is the first, and only, Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence established through the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) as a new Centre dedicated to the development of research collaborations between Canada and India.


More nursing students arrive at Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health

2018 Nipissing University Distant Learning Program

Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health, in Goderich, and Nipissing University are once again collaborating to provide placement for community projects as part of the Nipissing University Distance Learning Program.

This semester, a registered nurse and vice-president of the Gateway board of directors, Gwen Devereaux is mentoring two nursing students.

“We are very happy to assist our nursing students this year,” Devereaux said. “Gateway’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life of rural residents through research, education and communication. We are always interested in researching health issues relevant to our local community members. There is no better way than to assist our local health-care professionals to advance their education. Once again we have two very bright students and we are delighted to help.”

This is the third cohort of nursing students that Gateway has hosted. Devereaux stated she really enjoys assisting these ambitious and dedicated students who are working full time in our communities and at the same time, carrying out a study and placement program, that over five years will lead to a bachelor of science in nursing (BScN).

The two nursing students are:

Holly Al graduated from HealthKick’s local practical nursing program and began her nursing career in 2010 as a registered practical nurse (RPN) in Wingham & District Hospital. “The fact that I would be able to pursue a college education in a field I loved and was passionate about was very important,” Al said. “Being able to obtain my education locally was extremely instrumental in where I am today. To further develop my nursing career while working with the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance, I returned to school to obtain my nursing degree (BScN Distance Learning Program) at Nipissing University. The opportunity to work with Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health to complete part of my program locally, means everything.”

Stefani Hickmott is currently working on her third year of the bachelor of nursing degree from Nipissing University.

“I completed a bachelor of health science (2005) from Western University and the practical nursing program (2013) from Georgian College, through HealthKick in Huron County. I am currently working as a RPN at AMGH (Alexandra Marine and General Hospital) while completing my community nursing semester. I am excited to be working for four months with Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health.”


Online education’s expansion continues in higher ed with a focus on tech skills

  • Online learning continues to expand in higher ed with the addition of several online master’s degrees and a new for-profit college that offers a hybrid of vocational training and liberal arts curriculum online.
  • Inside Higher Ed reported the nonprofit learning provider edX is offering nine master’s degrees through five U.S. universities — the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University, Arizona State University and the University of California, San Diego. The programs include cybersecurity, data science, analytics, computer science and marketing, and they cost from around $10,000 to $22,000. Most offer stackable certificates, helping students who change their educational trajectory.
  • Former Harvard University Dean of Social Science Stephen Kosslyn, meanwhile, will open Foundry College in January. The for-profit, two-year program targets adult learners who want to upskill, and it includes training in soft skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Students will pay about $1,000 per course, though the college is waiving tuition for its first cohort.

Dive Insight:

Online colleges courses and degree programs have been criticized for high attrition rates and lack of attention to students and their performance, especially those who need the most support. Yet there continues to be a steady stream of new of initiatives online, from for-profit tech programs to law degrees.

One reason for the continued expansion is that a proliferation of third-party providers and open-source code makes them relatively easy for institutions to start, and they can be used to address demand for knowledge in a rapidly changing job market, Nina Huntemann, director of academics and research at edX, told EdScoop. For students, they tend to cost less and offer more flexible schedules than in-class programs. They are especially well-suited to graduate degree programs.

Despite the collapse of the for-profit sector, which included several large online offerings, enrollment in online programs has been on the rise for more than a decade. From fall 2015 to fall 2016, the number of distance education students taking at least one course increased by 5.6% to 6.3 million, according to a 2018 report from the Babson Survey Research Group. About half of that group is taking only online classes.

Private for-profit University of Phoenix-Arizona, private nonprofit Western Governors University and private for-profit (now a nonprofit) Grand Canyon University had the highest enrollment of students taking at least one online class in 2016, according to the survey. The University of Maryland University College, in the No. 7 spot overall, ranked first among public colleges.

For-profits have dominated online learning, but traditional universities are catching up. In 2017, Purdue University acquired for-profit Kaplan University, which will support the nonprofit’s online Purdue Global program. And in August, the University of Pennsylvania announced plans to put its popular master’s in computer and information technology online, the first all-online master’s degree in the Ivy League. EdX’s expansion shows how other major universities are responding to the trend, providing the information and instruction but working with third-party technology providers to tailor the curriculum to online learning.


New distance learning Small Animal Medicine Postgraduate Certificate

Image result for New distance learning Small Animal Medicine Postgraduate CertificateImprove International has announced that it will launch a distance learning version of its Small Animal Medicine Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) programme, in January 2019.

The company says that the 20 module medicine programme, covering all of the major body systems of cats and dog, combines the latest thinking in small animal medicine with its world-class learning resources to ensure that delegates’ learning experience online gives the same high-quality learning as the attendance programme.

Improve says it aims to offer a route for veterinary surgeons who don’t have the time to participate in an attendance programme or who work in countries where this type of training is not available, the opportunity to study for a recognised postgraduate qualification.

Delegates signing up for the programme will have a module tutor – an RCVS or ECVIM/ACVIM Small Animal Internal Medicine Diploma holder – and a dedicated programme tutor who works with individual delegates to ensure they are supported throughout the programme.

Improve says the course includes interactive and engaging modules, together with real-life case studies, presentations, written notes, interactive quizzes and exercises.

Dr Alison Babington MRCVS, Business Coordinator at Improve said: “The pressures on veterinary professionals today have never been more intense and many of us struggle to find the work-life balance which is so important for our well-being. Unfortunately, these pressures often preclude many vets from undertaking the type of postgraduate training which could give them additional job satisfaction and enhance both their career prospects and the profitability of their practice.

“It has been our ambition for some time to offer some of our flagship programmes online and, in creating the Distance Learning Small Animal Medicine programme, we drew on the experience of the latest online platforms.

“This new Distance Learning Programme offers a high quality interactive, engaging Small Animal Medicine learning experience which will be fun to study and a far cry from the days of simply reading text online. It will be accessible to vets working anywhere in the world and we’re very proud to be able to offer a high level programme via this learning route