Featured Stories

Five free parking spaces? Just look

Many more bouquets for Ana Thompson, the cheerful young woman who commands the flower stand at Pioneer Courthouse Square. This week will make it 10 years at the same location. How many other small businesses can make that claim? É Martial artiste Gil Johnson says he knows of five free parking spots in the heart of downtown Portland Ñ but of course he won't say where they are because the city would run out and plant parking meters on them. É But here's a hint: 'They're all in a row, right on the street, and a few blocks from the Big Pink, Powell's and NW Natural Gas.' Let's hope Gil isn't giving away too much there.

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When Pat McClellan, the legless street musician, got caught trying to hold up Katmandu to You, a Nepalese doodad shop on Northwest 21st, the judge hit him with 60 months in the slammer. He also forbade McClellan from ever again visiting the scene of the crime. É By that time, however, Katmandu to You had already gone out of business and been replaced by Nob Hill Shoe Repair Ñ prompting bartender extraordinaire Kevin Mullane, who holds court next door at Wimpy's, to observe that 'this may be the first time a judge has ever banned a man with no feet from a shoe store.' É Spotted just across the street, at a table in front of the Zinc Bistrot, a man in a business suit patiently feeding his German shepherd É with chopsticks. Woman-About-Town Maggi White, who called this one in, says the scene has New Yorker cartoon possibilities written all over it. Although, come to think of it, what do we care about The New Yorker, anyway?

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Jaws dropped when, after last week's debate at the Multnomah Center on redistricting, Bob Ball (he's for it) and Bud Clark (he's against it) went across the street to the Lucky Lab for a beer. Well, why shouldn't they be friendly? É Opponents of the measure say they have a poll that shows it's going down. Ball says he's conducted a few surveys of his own, which show 'an overwhelming majority of citizens don't believe their neighborhoods are represented fairly.' I'll drink to that. É Nominations continue to pour in for Portland's 10 Greatest Contributions to World Culture Ñ a contest that, unlike some others we have heard of lately, will be run honestly, and no lame excuses afterward if we get caught cooking the books. É 'Hey,' writes local film guy Stephen Sasser, 'hasn't anyone nominated Bart Simpson yet?' You know, you're right. É John Farmer wishes to nominate orange-haired cartoonist John Callahan. 'Just recently I saw one of his cartoons in a Balinese periodical.' Reason enough, I say.

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Don't miss the tuna melt at Henry's Cafe, 2508 S.E. Clinton St., plus a cup of that great vegetable soup. No, make that a bowl. É Or, behind the counter, Stephanie, with a black T-shirt that reads (in front): 'When I'm good, I'm very good,' and (in back): 'When I'm bad, I'm better.' É It's never too early to start making plans for P-town's annual Polka Party this Saturday night at the Norse Hall, 111 N.E. 11th Ave. É Feature attraction will be the band Polkacide from San Francisco, featuring 'traditional polka instruments played proficiently with a rocking punk attitude.' É Basic entry fee is $9 Ñ three bucks off if you wear proper polka duds and double the amount ($18) for anyone wearing black. My advice: Don't wear black.

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..