Paul Allen's just-announced sci-fi museum for Seattle is not the reclusive billionaire's first venture into outer space Ñ and I'm not talking about the local NBA franchise, either. Certainly not. É Over the past few years, Allen has sunk millions into a project called SETI Ñ Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Ñ which probes the cosmos for signs of alien life. É Hmm, maybe there is a local connection. É After attending the opening of Aura, P-town's latest candidate for late-night hot spot at 1022 W. Burnside, our Woman About Town, Maggi White, reports: 'The female set should be forewarned that the upstairs floors have glass insets Ñ all the better to see up their legs from downstairs vantage points.'
Actually, we do have some serious Paul Allen news: According to sources in Seattle, Allen Ñ who owns the Seattle Seahawks as well as the Trail Blazers Ñ is 'seriously re-evaluating' both of his pro sports franchises. É Everybody knows about the public statement Allen released after the Blazers' latest off-court antics, indicating that he was ready to shake up the Blazers 'if necessary.' But there's considerably more going on behind the scenes. É Allen has engaged a top national consulting firm that specializes in pro sports to take a long, hard look at both teams. Agents from Minneapolis-based Conventions, Sports & Leisure, aka CSL, are checking books and conducting interviews as we speak. É Hello, Bob Whitsitt?
'Laurelhurst Falls,' proclaims the headline over a computer-deranged photo of the Joan of Arc statue at Northeast 39th and Glisan being toppled from its pedestal while a crowd of zanies Ñ undoubtedly, the entire staff of the Portland Mercury Ñ celebrates wildly. É 'Sources inside the Defense Department declared today that the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association (LNA) has lost control of their upper-class neighborhood to American military forces,' explains the story below it. 'And while LNA president Howard Louden has not been seen since Tuesday's bombing raids, Judy Lindley, LNA newsletter editor, claims association members are still firmly in control.' É Sometimes, it's hard to know who to believe.
Politics ain't what it used to be, according to former city Commissioner Mike Lindberg. In fact, there was the time back in 1981 when the doctor who was giving him a vasectomy brought up the issue of whether there should be a new firehouse in Council Crest Ñ which, as it quickly turned out, was the doctor's neighborhood, and he didn't like the idea one little bit. É 'Say,' he asked at a particularly delicate juncture, 'aren't you the fire commissioner?' É Well, was the firehouse ever built? 'Well, no,' says Lindberg, now a highly successful lobbyist. 'Although to the best of my knowledge, that had more to do with budget constraints than anything else.'
More extraterrestrial goings-on: McMenamins Hotel Oregon, located in McMinnville, is taking reservations for its fourth annual UFO Festival next month, featuring nuclear physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman. É Friedman promises to talk about the mass UFO sighting that occurred in Portland on July 4, 1947. Scores of flying saucers were sighted all over P-town that day. É There are only two possibilities: Either it was the real thing or it was a mass hallucination. Take your pick.