At approximately 9:15 p.m. on a cloudy night last month, an Idaho couple nearly ran over a 'very, very skinny' 7- to 8-foot hairy creature standing in the slow lane of Interstate 84, about three miles west of Multnomah Falls. É Ray Crowe, president of the Western Bigfoot Society, investigated the scene but failed to find any supporting physical evidence. However, logic tells us, that doesn't prove it didn't happen. É According to Crowe, this is a well-known Bigfoot crossing. He and fellow cryptozoologists suspect that the creatures hide out on the nearby islands and pick huckleberries on the Washington side of the river. Motorists traveling in the vicinity are advised to be especially careful.

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Our own Miss America, Katie Harman, was at the Dorchester Conference this past weekend to lead the Republican faithful in song Ñ and you'll never guess what they sang: that old radical anthem, 'This Land is Your Land.' É To paraphrase former President Gerald Ford, if Woody Guthrie were alive today, he'd be rolling over in his grave. É Gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton, Albany High class of 1972, tells this one on himself: Not long ago, he got a call from a former classmate in charge of setting up their 30-year reunion. É 'You were on our missing-in-action list,' said the classmate. 'What've you been up to?' É Not for me to say, Ron, but maybe it's time to spend a little of that TV money.

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Remember the story about the tow truck driver who crashed into Jenika's car on I-205, then charged her $123 to tow her car to the repair shop? Well, it seems there is some justice in the world, after all. É Portland towing coordinator Marian Gaylord has ordered the towing company, Newhouse & Hutchins, to pay a $500 fine for 'illegal solicitation' at the scene of an accident and to refund the $123.

In about two weeks, firefighters from several area departments will be headed for Seattle to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by running up the 70-plus floors of the Bank of America Tower in full 'turnout gear' Ñ and I'm sure they're all out there collecting pledges as we speak. É However, Nate Sullivan, a tree-trimmer who works as a volunteer with the Gladstone Fire Department, was the one with the moxie to send a pitch directly to this newspaper, so he's the one who gets his name in the column. Send your pledges to him at 434 W. Dartmouth, Gladstone, OR 97927. Make all checks Ñ any amount is fine Ñ payable to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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What to do this Wednesday night? Well, you might start off at The Green Room at Northwest 23rd and Thurman, where Tisha Helgerson is currently headlining with the band Amelia. Big O music critic Marty Hughley is another who's been captivated. 'A promising talent,' as he says. É And after that, head over to The Boiler Room at Northwest Third and Davis, where, every Wednesday night, Jenn Fiendish Ñ that's her legal name, by the way Ñ does the fire show after she finishes with her karaoke duties. É 'She twirls it, she inhales it,' says owner Nikki Jones. 'She does everything you can do with fire.' É During last week's show, says Jones, Ms. Fiendish's top fell off, and to no one's apparent dismay, she carried on without missing a beat. É Hmm. É Might even incorporate it into her act next time.

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..

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