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Get set for the dog days of winter

Spotted heading east on Southeast Tacoma Street, a gray Dodge Caravan with a bumper sticker: 'Wag more. Bark less.' … Now, there's something we should all get behind. After all, 'tis the season to be waggy. …

Not only is highly entertaining lounge singer Tony Starlight back in town after a seven-year sojourn in L.A., but he's about to open up a nightclub at 37th and Sandy. You know, right across from where the big 7Up bottle used to be - except now it's a Budweiser sign. … What to call it? Why, Tony Starlight's of course. … Tony, who describes his act as 'somewhere between Weird Al Yankovic and Frank Sinatra,' says he's shooting for a January opening.

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Best rumor of the week: A deal's in the works to turn the half-empty Galleria on Southwest 10th into a five-star luxury hotel. … If so, this is truly fantastic news for downtown Portland. … The Old Ghost Mall, as the once-proud property of the Naito family has come to be known, was actually dragging down the neighborhood. If and when the deal goes through, all those vacant storefronts along Alder and Morrison, which border the Galleria to the north and south, will disappear. … Certainly, no one from the Grand Heritage Hotel Group, which is reportedly buying up the Galleria, is bothering to deny anything. … John Cullen, chief executive officer of the international hotel chain, which already owns and operates the Governor and the Avalon here in P-town, sends word through a secretary that he'll be willing to grant a full-scale interview on the subject later this week. Sorry, John, can't wait.

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Is three-time Commissioner Erik Sten actually thinking about taking another job before his term is up? … 'Not unless I can get one as good as Molly Bordonaro's,' he laughs. … In case you were wondering, Bordonaro - one-time candidate for Congress and, perhaps more important, member of a family that's given buckets of money to Republican campaigns - happens to be this country's ambassador to Malta, which in case you also were wondering, is an island in the Mediterranean. … Will someone please tell me why the only time anyone from P-town gets an ambassadorship - Bill McCormick of Jake's Famous Crawfish currently is serving as ambassador to New Zealand - it's always an island? …

Hollywood boulevardier Stephen Sasser, who read with interest the recent item about the great Las Vegas-style floor shows at the old Hoyt Hotel, says please don't forget Gracie Hansen, who used to emcee the shows there. Or that Oregon Journal columnist Doug Baker used to broadcast his talk show from a studio in this long-lost dream of a hotel.

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Meanwhile, the countdown continues: Just three days till Sam Adams' death-defying rope descent from a tram gondola high above the South Waterfront. … And if you think that's something to sneeze at, pal, next time you're downtown try looking down from the 16th floor of your favorite high-rise: That's roughly how high Commissioner Sam will be when he goes over the side as the first and only civilian guinea pig in the fire bureau's rescue drill. … The great event is scheduled for 1 p.m. or so Friday. … Sam's PR guy Tom Miller says it'll take place 'rain or shine' - which is as it should be. If that sucker ever breaks down, we won't be allowed to pick our weather conditions, now will we?

Contact Phil Stanford by phone at 503-546-5166 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .