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Hold on, it might be funny money

If you're holding a $100 bill with serial number AB8800099F, you've been had. In the last week, a middle-aged man with graying hair and mustache has passed a whole slew of them off on P-town businesses. É They're so good they pass the 'pen test' that most establishments use these days to detect fake bills. É One cab driver who got taken says the guy showed him a big wad of bills and told him he didn't have anything smaller than a hundred because he'd just won the lottery. Pretty smooth. É Moving mogul Terry Emmert, best known to readers of this column as owner of the biggest and baddest black limo in town, has decided to get into the livestock business. Last week he acquired 43 huge water buffaloes for his ranch in Clackamas County. É 'Ninety-seven percent less fat than beef,' says Terry, sounding extremely knowledgeable on the subject.

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Hottest new restaurant in the restaurant-rich Pearl has got to be Manzana, which opened just last Tuesday at the corner of Northwest Glisan and 12th. É Last weekend, while other, more chichi restaurants in the neighborhood were languishing, Manzana was packed Ñ and it holds about 260. Pacific Coast Restaurants, which is also behind the enormously popular Portland City Grill, not to mention Newport Bay, is obviously onto something. É Commissioner Jim Francesconi's trip to Bologna, Italy, scouting out sister-city possibilities with newfound buddy and Wells Fargo exec George Passadore, couldn't have hurt his mayoral aspirations. When Passadore, who also heads up the powerful Portland Business Alliance, comes down with a cold, the rest of P-town's business community generally sneezes.

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Things you wouldn't know unless you spent too much time hanging out in bars: Huber's, Portland's oldest restaurant, goes through 40 cases Ñ that's 480 bottles Ñ of Kahlœa, the coffee liqueur, in a month. É It's for their Spanish coffee, of course Ñ which, as every Portlander should know, was virtually invented at the venerable restaurant on Southwest Third. É How much more time did Metro Exec Mike Burton have left as of Saturday? 'Forty-four days, but who's counting?' says Burton, who, among other things, actually abolished his job while in office. Burton should be in line for something in the new Kulongoski administration Ñ but not chief of staff. He's already turned that down.

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Last week's marijuana bust of Blazers Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace brings to mind the story of Barney Kaye, who back in the '50s was Portland's best-known bootlegger. É One night Barney was returning from Reno with a load of whiskey in the trunk of his Cadillac when the state police stopped him just outside Portland for a broken taillight. É When Barney finally got back to Portland, he bumped into Big Jim Elkins, who ran the rackets at the time. 'You dumb bunny,' said Elkins, scorn dripping from his lips. 'Don't you know? When you're breaking the law, don't break the law.' É The universal verdict on Damon and 'Sheed's recent escapade revolves around just how spectacularly stupid it was: A yellow

Hummer going 14 miles over the speed limit at midnight outside a notorious speed trap like Centralia, Wash.? É In this case, though, 'dumb bunnies' doesn't begin to say it.

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..