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Sorry, business must be booming

High-priced divorce lawyer Jody Stahancyk flounced into Ray's Ragtime on Southwest Morrison last week and plunked down for $1,300 worth of '50s and '60s outfits Ñ which, any way you look at it, is a lot of retro duds. É Could it be that the family law business, as the divorce lawyers would like us to think of it, does especially well during hard economic times? 'No comment,' says Jody. É Too late now, sports fans. But the hotel of choice for most visiting NBA teams this season was the 5th Avenue Suites, downtown at Fifth and Washington. É Friday afternoon, genial Nick Lammerman, who tends bar downstairs at the Red Star, was spotted asking Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki for his autograph Ñ 'for my daughter, because she's such a fan.' Sure, Nick.

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Yes, our local heroes fell just that short of making NBA history Sunday. But look at the bright side: If they'd won, no one would ever have been able to convince them that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. É 'Betcha can't think of another bar whose name is also a sobriety test,' says local comic Susan Rice, musing on the near impossibility of pronouncing 'McMenamins,' as in the McMenamins pub empire, correctly. 'Only problem is, you could flunk it and still be sober.' É John Callahan's cartoon in the current Willie Week may become a modern classic: The usual walleyed hermit with a placard over his shoulder that says 'The End Is Near' Ñ followed this time by a little guy with his own sign: 'Duh!!' É Well, at least we can laugh about it, can't we?

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Co-owners of Nervy Girl, the locally published feminist magazine, have called it quits over what they can only describe as a 'difference in philosophy' between publisher Kristin Schuchman and business manager Letha Tawney. This month's issue will be the last for the engaging publication, which Schuchman started almost three years ago. É And here I thought it was only guys who're willing to go down in flames just to prove a point. É Careful reader Stephen Sasser says that that was a light-rail bridge over the tiny Columbia Slough, not the mighty Columbia River, that Bill Sizemore said would be built only over his dead body. Mr. Sizemore and I both stand corrected, though not for exactly the same reasons.

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Next week, when the matter comes before the City Council, it'll be the first time since approximately the invention of the horseless carriage that anyone besides the Portland Business Alliance has had a shot at managing the city-owned SmartPark lots. É 'It was so wired before,' says one knowledgeable insider. 'No one else even tried.' É Count on Vera Katz and Erik Sten to support the upstart Alliance of Minority Chambers against the PBA Ñ which means they're still one vote shy of breaking the longtime monopoly. É Logger Terry Lang, who's injured his back and could use the money, is willing to part with his pet alligator, Elvis Ñ and he's not too proud to let me give him a plug in this column. É When he bought him six years ago, says Terry, Elvis could fit in a little goldfish bowl. Now he's 6 1/2 feet long. É 'Doesn't eat much, though,' says Terry. 'Just two or three pieces of chicken a day. Wintertimes he doesn't eat anything at all.' Hey, just think of all the money you'll save.

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. .