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Nothing ruins a vacation quite like a cop-involved shooting

Last week, when Mayor Tom Potter blamed his staff for not interrupting his vacation to notify him of the controversial death in custody of James Chasse Jr., it was déjà vu all over again.

In 1992, police accidentally shot and killed 12-year-old Nathan Thomas while Potter was chief of police. Potter was on vacation and did not immediately return to town, claiming he did not learn about the incident for 11 days because his hotel in Mexico had no telephone.

But in 2004, while running for mayor, Potter told a different story to the Willamette Week, admitting the hotel did have a telephone - and blaming his staff for not calling him.

He'd look good on a tractor

Now here's a scary thought - by championing biodiesel, gruff city Commissioner Randy Leonard is becoming an ambassador from Portland to the rural areas of the state.

Leonard has jumped on the biodiesel bandwagon over the past year, convincing the City Council to require that all diesel sold in Portland contain at least 5 percent biodiesel.

Leonard's activism has drawn the attention of grain growers in Eastern Oregon, who have come to Portland to meet with him. He is scheduled to return the favor with a trip to Pendleton on Oct. 19.

Leonard admits that his outreach efforts have a political purpose - building bridges with residents, business owners and elected officials outside Portland in case the trucking industry, which opposes the city's biodiesel requirement, tries to overturn it at the next session of the Oregon Legislature.

Island life dulled their senses

Paul Romain, one of Oregon's most powerful lobbyists, had better watch out: Longtime media personality Pete Schulberg is unleashed from the fetters of objective journalism and city service.

Schulberg worked at The Oregonian, KGW (8), KPAM (860 AM) and the Portland Tribune before moving to Portland Parks and Recreation.

Last week he joined the Oregon Partnership, a nonprofit that advocates against drug and alcohol abuse, especially by children.

On Thursday, the news broke that several state lawmakers had not reported their all expenses-paid trips to Hawaii with Romain, the mastermind behind the booze industry's repeated quashing of increased taxes on alcoholic beverages.

Schulberg promptly fired off a scathing news release. 'I woke up and read the paper,' Schulberg told Sources Say, 'and said, 'Ooh boy -let the games begin!' '

-Tribune staff