Stroll along the Walk of Stars
The Portland Center for the Performing Arts, downtown at Broadway and Main, is getting ready to put three more names on its 'Walk of Stars': the late writer Terrence O'Donnell and philanthropists Jean Vollum and Jimmy Miller. But that's not the real news. É The real news is the reason why that little stretch of Main between the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and the Winningstad Theatre is called the 'Walk of Stars' in the first place. É Back in 1996, Mayor Katz held a news conference to announce that it would be called Mike Lindberg Plaza in honor of Lindberg's long service to the arts as a member of the City Council. É Then, quite inexplicably, the plan dropped from view. Instead of a Lindberg Plaza, the center inaugurated its 'Walk of Stars,' giving the former commissioner a star as a consolation prize. É It can now be revealed that the reason behind the abrupt switcheroo was none other than Arlene Schnitzer herself, who reasoned Ñ quite correctly, perhaps Ñ that if she gave a million bucks to the center and only got her name on a theater, how did this guy, who'd only been an elected official, get off having part of a city block named after him? É A few well-chosen remarks to the right people, and Arlene got her way.
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At least one book lover thought that a fight was going to break out in Powell's Hawthorne bookstore last week when author Anthony Swofford started answering questions about his best-seller 'Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles.' É Turns out that Swofford, who attended the last Iraqi war in uniform, is not in favor of the administration's plan to attack Iraq. É 'Not enough proof,' he said Ñ much to the displeasure of a young Marine recruit who rose to deliver a patriotic speech Ñ thereby setting off other members of the audience, including a former Army medic, who got into a shouting match with the young Marine. É 'I think it was Swofford's calm demeanor that kept anything from happening,' said a shaken source. É No question, though, that with the administration's March 17 deadline now less than a week away, things are a bit tense in P-Town.
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Meanwhile, life does go on: Hot-dog impresario Frank Nudo reports, loudly, that he's finally become a grandfather. É 'I'm too young for this,' says Frank, who's only 68. É The new family member is Emma, and she's 6 1/2 pounds. 'And make sure you get it right,' says Frank. É OK, Frank. Do what I can. É Former Mayor Bud Clark, 71, has a new girlfriend Ñ a retired flower arranger named Pam Cunningham, who says she picked him up at the McMenamins Pub on Northwest 23rd. É 'He needs someone young enough to keep up with him,' says Pam, who's a good 30 years his junior. É And Ty Wells, who presides over Alessandro's, the popular Italian restaurant on Southwest Morrison, has popped the question to his main squeeze, Nancy Parker. É He did it last week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nancy's hometown, in 30-below weather, while kneeling on the ice of a frozen river. É 'Yes!' she said when she finally understood what he was saying. 'Get up, you fool.' É In times like these, it's things like this that really matter.