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At least Darcelle's is still there

If you think the Chinese are the only ones bent out of shape over what the Portland Development Commission has done in Chinatown, talk to Kenyon Dawson, who works as doorman at Darcelle's on Northwest Third.…

'The whole thing's a mess,' he says. 'Totally tacky. … After all this, it just looks like a bad mall.'… Couldn't agree more, Kenyon. The entire project has to rank as one of the PDC's more memorable failures. … First they drive a number of long-standing Chinese businesses out to 82nd, then they manage to obliterate the funky charm that made the place worth visiting in the first place. … In terms of sheer bullheadedness, it's right up there with the destruction of the entire South Portland neighborhood back in the '50s. … The misbegotten dragon statue that's got the Chinese community so riled up was just the finishing touch.

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Movie star Diane Lane is about to hit P-town, playing an FBI agent who's trying to track down a killer who's been using the Internet to line up his victims. For all of our sakes, let's hope she nails him. … The name of the film is 'Untraceable,' and it's scheduled to start shooting here in February. … Much more of this and they'll be calling us Tinseltown on the Willamette. … They're obviously getting into the spirit over at the Blue Monk on Belmont. For the next two Thursdays, it'll be 'Christmas, According to Jazz' with the Farnell Newton and Marcus Reynolds Quintet. … One way to tell the difference between Jimmy Mak's and the Blue Monk is that the Blue Monk generally books the younger acts. … Timothy Haslach, a lawyer at Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt, offers proof that, contrary to recent wisecracks in this column, not all ambassadors from P-town end up serving on tiny islands in the middle of nowhere. … His sister, Patricia Haslach, St. Mary's class of 1974, resident of Lake Oswego - and unlike Portland's other ambassadorial appointees, a career foreign service officer - is the current U.S. ambassador to Laos. … New tenant at the old Good Dog/Bad Dog sausage emporium on Southwest Alder will be Inkwell Express, a printing supplies company. … Owner Shirley Tong, who says she moved in from the suburbs 'because so much is happening in downtown,' is planning to open for business in January. … Sighs a former lunchtime regular, 'It could have been wurst.'

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As it turns out, getting Sam Adams to bail out of a tram 140 feet above condoland was a little like throwing Br'er Rabbit in the briar patch. … As the commissioner now reveals, while a student at the U of O in 1984, he took a course in skydiving. … Leaving aside for a moment the question of whether a public university should be spending tax money on such things, Sam says, it did succeed in curing him of his fear of heights. … And then last summer, he adds, he walked down the side of the Justice Center on a rope as part of a police training exercise - just to prove to the cops that he wasn't afraid. … Or to put it another way, the good commissioner had us outfoxed all the way. … Let's all wish Sam the Tram well. It's a long way down.

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..