Tag Archives: April Fools

April Fools: Politicians jockey for any position that still has some money to manage

By Precious Comstock, Inquiries welcome

Multnomah County Commission Chairman Ted Wheeler resigned last month, accepting an offer to become the Oregon State Treasurer after Ben Westland, a beloved Republican, passed away with lung cancer.

A source close to the deal told Street Roots that Wheeler had been hard pressed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski to take the position. The source said the governor knew that the only person to oversee the hardships of a state that is truly and utterly financially f$cked in 2011 was to appoint Wheeler, who has overseen the largest county in the state, which is also financially f$cked and will be for the foreseeable future.

Wheeler’s chief operating officer, Jana McLellan, who in the case of Wheeler’s absence or resignation would have to run the county, responded to the news by spilling her coffee all over herself and yelling, “There’s no f$cking way …” Continue reading

April fools: City looks to climate change opportunities

By George Itstroo, Now appearing nightly at Mary’s

Portland City Council recently adopted an ordinance to study the effects of global warming to determine whether Portland should plan for a “resort like sustainable atmosphere” in 2075 — after more than 25 million people are expected to move here due to climate change.

“Coastal cities to the South will be flooded, lush farming regions in the Midwest will turn to dust, and glaciers to the north will have melted and become major seaways. Disease, border wars, and access to water will all play a role in making Portland one of the world’s most premier and bustling urban hubs,” says a representative with Future Town, the firm charged with the new study.

The firm’s Web site bills the company as a consulting firm for the Northern Hemisphere’s future, and has recently been hired by several cities in North America, including Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Dallas, N.D. (Pop. 234), a town that is already claiming that it will be the new Dallas, after rural and urban communities to the South stampede the current Dallas after decades of drought.

The independent firm charged with the study is being backed by global business pioneers like, “Google to find water,” and Microsoft’s newly formed branch, “Operating systems to keep your family alive.” Continue reading

April Fools: Media executives whistle optimistic tune past graveyard

In cafés, pubs and back patios across Portland, writers and editors are struggling to decide their course in the changing economy of journalism.

Various social groups have convened to explore news incubators and nonprofit possibilities for Web sites that would incorporate citizen journalists as well as press-pass-carrying reporters and editors, many hoping to find a steady paycheck at the bottom of the glass.

Whatever model this “new journalism” will take, it sure as hell won’t be a newspaper, members have twittered among their goups.

Only last year, newspapers were reporting their omnipresence despite talk in the board rooms that online news services and independent media could soon creep into their market. As a result, 2009 was a busy year for newspapers as they consolidated news and advertising efforts across the country to better leverage their core strengths.

News Corp. (Fox Network) announced in July it was buying the McClatchy Corp. (The Olympian, Tacoma News Tribune), then unloading McClatchy’s Knight-Ridder acquisitions from a few years ago to the Tribune Co. In August, News Corp. announced it was merging with the Tribune Co. and absorbing its assets into Fox News., essentially buying out the struggling Chicago-based corporation. That news was shortly followed by News Corp.’s announcement that it will be selling off a portion of Tribune’s Thompson-Reuters acquisitions of the past decade to Gannett Corp., (Salem Statesman-Journal) which was recently acquired by News Corp. and subsequently reorganized as a limited liability corporation under Direct TV, the nation’s largest satellite TV system. Direct TV is owned by Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp.

“Now we are aligned to weather the changing marketplace,” said Murdoch, Skyping from his chalet in Switzerland. “We have never, and will never, waiver from our commitment to put in print for the American people what’s important, when it’s important and how to vote on it.”

No official reduction figures have been released, but Twitterer @datelinedeath reported soon after the changes that more than 32,000 journalists already have been “retired” from McClatchy Corp., via Tribune Co., via News Corp. via Gannett via Direct TV as of press time. (You can read the transcript of newsroom discussions during the layoffs through the live blog mymediamattersmost.com.)

Another 12,000 employees are shivering at their ergonomic keyboards.

“This is an exciting time to be in newspapers,” says Rudy Sukitup, vice president of “American Idol” promotions for Direct TV, as reported on the blog http://www.papercuts.wordpress.com. Among the changes made by News Corp. is that now all news editors will report to their regional executive directors of promotional advertising. “It just seemed to make sense to put into policy what we’ve been doing all along.”

Apparently, those synergies have been spent. Monday, News Corp. reported it was selling its McClatchy holdings to Gannett, but later rescinded the offer after learning it already owned Gannett. On Tuesday, News Corp. announced it would be unloading Gannett to Tribune Co., which is being dissolved into a wholly owned subsidiary of Direct TV, owned by News Corp.

“We’re responding immediately to the changing market,” said a nondescript white guy in a gray suit speaking in front of a microphone reporters were gathered around.

Meanwhile, The Oregonian owner Advance Corp. has become Facebook friends with Lee Enterprises, owners of Pulitzer Inc.

The Oregonian also announced it is sending pink slips to all J School seniors in an effort to thwart any misunderstandings about their prospects.

By Fantasia. Available for all your typing needs

* Each year on April 1,  Street Roots publishes a special satire edition of the newspaper.

April Fools: I’m the resider

BUSH/It’s the last day the April Fools edition of the paper, filled with wall to wall satire, is on the streets. Find your copy today!

Former president George W. Bush is reportedly looking at property in Portland’s west hills as a possible retirement home and a site for his beleaguered library.

The news of Bush’s move was tipped to the press after a tourist saw Bush and a real estate agent on the Pittock Mansion grounds. A spokesperson for Bush said that the former commander in chief has been speaking with several property owners in Portland’s west hills and has made an offer on at least two residential properties and a large tract of forested land. The properties are believed to be both for a private residence and his presidential library, which has been stalled in a legal dispute at its proposed site at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

“Mr. Bush has always felt an affinity with Portland,” said Pasty White, Bush’s spokesman. “He has always wanted to live near the city, remembering how welcoming the people were there.”
“Da f%@$ is he talking about?” asked Bill Admissen, a Portland vendor who dropped his stack of street papers when told of the news. “You sure he’s got the right Portland?”
Former president Bush’s father, former president Bush, dubbed Portland “Little Beirut” because of the violent uprisings the president incited with his visits. The younger Bush has said he has felt no such hostility from the city that once served up a $20,000-a-plate dinner for former vice president, Nixon operative and Halliburton multi-millionaire executive Dick Cheney. While visiting Bend three years ago to talk about Republican theories on forest management, Bush spoke fondly of Portland and said, pointing south, “That’s where I want to live someday: The City of Roses. Make those Rose Bushes.” And then he chuckled.

In conjunction with the library is the George W. Bush Policy Institute (It had been proposed as “The Freedom Institute,” but that name was scrapped because people associated the word “freedom” with freedom.) A spokesman for the project has said the institute will highlight Bush’s policies, including his principles for creating a thriving economy and world peace. It will also include lots and lots of horrific pictures from Sept. 11, 2001. Special focus areas might also include the administration’s landmark positions on torture, extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping on Americans and the war in Iraq, which began six years ago and continues today.

White said she expects the Bush’s to make a final decision in the coming month.

By West winds Unemployed writer

April Fools: Man turns life around after being criticized for personal choices

A Portland man who spent seven months sleeping under a bridge says his life was finally turned around by strangers who criticized his personal choices.

Andy Whitman, 37, says he used to buy himself a cup of Starbucks coffee every few weeks as a treat to keep his spirits up. But that raised the alarm with passersby downtown, who began to question whether Whitman could actually be poor.

“People kept sneering at me and saying that because I could afford a cup of Starbucks coffee once in a while, I must not really be homeless,” said Whitman, who landed on the streets last year after he was laid off from his manufacturing job and could no longer afford his monthly rent.

Two weeks ago, Whitman said, he realized that the skeptics were right.

“The next time I’d scraped together $3, instead of buying coffee, I used it for a security deposit on a new apartment,” Whitman recalled. “Turns out there are a ton of places in the $3 range right here in the middle of town. I guess I just hadn’t been looking hard enough.”
“If only I’d started foregoing good coffee two weeks ago,” he added with a sigh. “I could have had my own condo by now.”

More funny briefs after the jump…

Continue reading

April Fools: Officials question Street Roots coverage on homelessness

From the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)

The journalistic integrity of Street Roots is being questioned by government agencies after it did not publish several press releases on homelessness as news stories during the past year. One insider said the newspaper had lost its way and could no longer be trusted on the issue. “Our research shows that reports mandated and developed by the federal government for funding are accurate. Why question the facts?”

Spokespeople for local city governments, the Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National Alliance to End Homelessness have questioned Street Roots for not getting in line and reporting on the real issues of chronic homelessness.

“Look, we know that people who have lived on the streets for more than one year are chronically at fault for their circumstances,” says a burned-out administrator from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “Our goal is to get these people off the streets as soon as possible. We’re not necessarily concerned with their civil rights, but we do think their presence on street corners is bad for business. Our research shows that we can without a doubt clear these folks off the streets in 10 years.”

“Will people we house have jobs or be contributing to society in a year? That’s not the issue,” says the National Alliance spokesperson. “Our goal is to have as many people in housing as possible before another million people hit the streets.”

Interagency Council on Homelessness representatives agree, saying the root causes of homelessness are really not the issue. “The issue is people who are homeless, and, frankly, we’re tired of Street Roots and other street papers around the country questioning this. We wish they would stop their whining.”

One local official working with the Housing Bureau says, “Our strategy at this point is to just ignore Street Roots.”

Continue reading

April Fools: City, County and State government confused about stimulus – Merkley says time are hard

dollarnote_siegel_hqFrom the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)

Angry legislative aides lashed out at reporters Friday for asking questions about the economy during a roundtable on the stimulus package.

The roundtable, focused on how stimulus dollars will be used to help Oregon’s lagging economy, included representatives from the state of Oregon, Multnomah County and the city of Portland.

After a heated discussion turned into a free-for-all, reporters asked civic leaders when exactly communities would see the millions of dollars promised to the region from the federal government.

“We don’t know,” said a staffer at the governor’s office. “It’s not clear that we have figured out how to figure out how to allocate the money being allocated to us. It’s complicated.”

Asked by Street Roots if affordable housing money promised to local communities would be seen in the next six months, the aide said, “Look, even if we get the money, there are a lot of things we need to discuss before we just hand over millions of dollars to the dying private sector and drowning nonprofits working on these issues. We have a process in Salem.”

Asked what that process was, the aide responded, “I’ve already told you. We don’t know exactly.”

Street Roots has been told by insiders that the governor’s office wants the money allocated one way and the state Legislature another. The aide later denied these reports, saying, “Look, if we had it my way, we would completely do away with people living with mental illness and substance abusers, but we don’t live in a perfect world, now do we?”

One state representative from Southern Oregon told the roomful of reporters that they wanted control of slashing the state budget for Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens, and that the governor’s office was taking too much of the credit for the system being completely broken.

“Before any money is allocated, state legislators are going to require that every interest group working with affordable housing tell us just how miserable things are,” said the representative. “We just can’t allow for all that money to go to housing people like that. There’s a process for this stuff. We’ve already been burned once.”

Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler was the only politician willing to talk one-on-one with Street Roots after the roundtable. Wheeler said he’ll do whatever it takes to expedite the process of getting dollars on the ground for projects in the pipeline.

Continue reading

April Fools: WW, Mercury, KGW, Oregonian cover Street Roots and homelessness

From the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)

– A Willamette Week intern asked Street Roots this week if money provided by the city of Portland for the Rose City Resource Guide is in fact being channeled to the mostly volunteer editorial board as a payoff. Questions arose after Street Roots claimed it could help facilitate communication among more than 350 social-service agencies and people experiencing poverty. The paper reported that Street Roots had in fact, “Sit. Lied. Rolled over. And fetched” for the payoff from City Hall.

– The Portland Mercury has decided to cover issues of poverty and homelessness without doing research on the subject for one-year. Mercury reporters told inquiring minds on their company blog that they are working circles around the Street Roots staff. One reporter blames Street Roots for not “manning up” and covering the issues he thinks the paper should be covering. “Why aren’t they just printing our stories on the front page?” he asked reporters.

– The Oregonian called to verify that homeless people are still, in fact, homeless.

– The Portland Monthly has decided to profile the Top Ten Reasons Why no one really gives a crap what the Portland Monthly says about the economy. Coming in at No. 1 was, “No one really does give a crap about what we say about the economy.”

– KGW decided to air a special about how homeless people living out on the streets actually get wet during the rainy season. In an early morning investigative report, KGW found that 14 out of the 14 individuals they interviewed who had slept outside during Rainstorm 2009 actually woke up wet and miserable.

– Several neighborhood newspapers have reported a homeless invasion of neighborhoods. One neighborhood leader told the Portland Sentinel that if any public housing was built in the area, they would post videos on YouTube of neighborhood activists ripping the hearts out of poor people at a public event. Editorials from various neighborhood newspapers agreed, after brokering a deal for sponsoring the event in exchange for three months of advertising. Various musicians around Portland agreed to play the YouTube event, saying, “We owe this to ourselves; we’re poor too.” Microbrews from local breweries and restaurants will be available at the event. Children and pets are welcome.

April Fools: Nick Fish spearheads acquisition of new furniture

chair22From the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)

Portland City Council officials were forced to postpone several pressing agenda items this week after their habitual praising of their own accomplishments ran even longer than usual.

When their April 1 meeting convened, council members unveiled their new set of swivel chairs, which they will sit in to deliberate city policy and hear testimony from the public. Commissioner Nick Fish spearheaded the acquisition of new furniture after a wheel broke loose from his previous chair, leaving it with a lean and prompting concern about the safety of all the council seats.

The commissioners often take time to acknowledge the work of their colleagues when a policy passes or a project kicks off, but they seemed especially pleased about this project.

“This morning has literally been hours – or even days – in the making,” Fish said as he sank into his plush new seat. “But I think I can speak for the rest of council when I say that it’s been a real labor of love. Before we continue, I want to make sure we recognize the people who spent significant amounts of time and energy making this happen.

“First,” Fish went on, “I want to recognize Roger Stillman of the Office Depot furniture department, without whom this really would not have been possible. It has truly been an honor to work with Roger, who was kind enough to walk me through the office chair aisle and offer his opinions and support.

“I’d also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, chief of maintenance Edgar Delgado, who had to unpackage the chairs and screw all of the pieces together. And boy, you practically need a whole new committee to read those instructions,” Fish added with a chuckle. (The Furniture Assembly and Regulation Team appointed by former Mayor Tom Potter was cut in 2007 for lack of funding.)

Fish then presented Stillman and Delgado, who were in the audience, with the city’s first-ever “Spirit of Furniture” awards.

“I’d like to pause for a moment,” declared Commissioner Randy Leonard, swiveling his chair toward Fish and steepling his fingers under his chin, “to recognize what a great orator Commissioner Fish has become. It has truly been a pleasure to watch.” Continue reading

April Fools: Homeless team courted for new Major League soccer stadium

3073864338_961c9fde8e_oFrom the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)

Homeless residents across Portland chanted and sang for 40 minutes Thursday after news spread that a homeless soccer team was being courted for the new Major League Soccer stadium. Police issued 86 citations.

The Homeless World Cup is traditionally a street soccer event, played in pitches, but as the popularity of soccer grows, along with homelessness, the expectation is that homeless teams could become a regular feature at the new stadium. Homeless people are not allowed to play soccer on Portland’s streets.

The new team’s presence is expected to draw worldwide attention among the homeless community. Past Homeless World Cup events in Edinburgh, Scotland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and most recently in Melbourne, Australia, attracted tens of thousands of players and spectators — most of them living in extreme poverty and on the streets — to the host cities.

“We are elated with the news,” said Ismella Ratones, an avid soccer fan experiencing homelessness. “I know it hasn’t been formally announced yet, but we know the city needs more resources for the homeless, and a new sports venue seems like the answer we’ve been waiting for.” Continue reading

Street Roots April Fools edition to sell out in a week – we’re ordering more!

april0309page111The Street Roots special April Fools edition is on the verge of selling out. Nearly 10,000 papers have been sold in just a week. We are ordering more.

The special edition is one of the newspapers most popular editions. The organization has received several letters to the editors and phone calls from many readers saying they read the paper cover to cover – laughing until they cried.

In the course of this edition we’ve also fielded numerous calls asking if former President Bush was really moving to Portland and if Executive Director Israel Bayer is leaving to take a job at the city to work on the sustainability of homelessness.

Inside this edition readers will find satire covering Portland’s City Hall, Ted Wheeler, secret lists, a private takeover of local prisons, life on Alberta, the stimulus package and much, much more including a story of how one homeless man turned his life around after being critiqued for his personal choices. For a quick sneak peak of the wall to wall satire in this edition on the streets we’re including our local Media Roundup:

– A Willamette Week intern asked Street Roots this week if money provided by the city of Portland for the Rose City Resource Guide is in fact being channeled to the mostly volunteer editorial board as a payoff. Questions arose after Street Roots claimed it could help facilitate communication among more than 350 social-service agencies and people experiencing poverty. The paper reported that Street Roots had in fact, “Sit. Lied. Rolled over. And fetched” for the payoff from City Hall.

– The Portland Mercury has decided to cover issues of poverty and homelessness without doing research on the subject for one-year. Mercury reporters told inquiring minds on their company blog that they are working circles around the Street Roots staff. One reporter blames Street Roots for not “manning up” and covering the issues he thinks the paper should be covering. “Why aren’t they just printing our stories on the front page?” he asked reporters.

– The Oregonian called to verify that homeless people are still, in fact, homeless.

– The Portland Monthly has decided to profile the Top Ten Reasons Why no one really gives a crap what the Portland Monthly says about the economy. Coming in at No. 1 was, “No one really does give a crap about what we say about the economy.”

– Several neighborhood newspapers have reported a homeless invasion of neighborhoods. One neighborhood leader told the Portland Sentinel that if any public housing was built in the area, they would post videos on YouTube of neighborhood activists ripping the hearts out of poor people at a public event. Editorials from various neighborhood newspapers agreed, after brokering a deal for sponsoring the event in exchange for three months of advertising. Various musicians around Portland agreed to play the YouTube event, saying, “We owe this to ourselves; we’re poor too.” Microbrews from local breweries and restaurants will be available at the event. Children and pets are welcome.

– KGW decided to air a special about how homeless people living out on the streets actually get wet during the rainy season. In an early morning investigative report, KGW found that 14 out of the 14 individuals they interviewed who had slept outside during Rainstorm 2009 actually woke up wet and miserable.