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A princess by any other name É

OK, run it by me one more time: Those cute and undoubtedly accomplished high school girls on the Rose Festival Court are ambassadors, right? Then everybody votes Ñ and the winner is a queen? É Simple logic tells us that she's got to be secretary of state, or perhaps ambassador-at-large. É Or look at it this way: If the representatives from each high school are truly ambassadors, how come they're all girls? Sounds like a clear call for affirmative action if you ask me. É On the other hand, if they just went back to calling them princesses Ð- which, as all loyal subjects of the mythical realm of Rosaria know, they really are Ñ I can't imagine why anyone would want to file a lawsuit.

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The signs have been appearing here and there around town: 'Pizza Schmizza is paying me to hold up this sign instead of asking you for money.' É Andre Jehan, founding father of the up-and-coming Pizza Schmizza chain, got the idea after he offered a panhandler a slice of pizza instead of cash, and Ñ big surprise Ñ got turned down. É He pays street people $5 an hour for their advertising services Ñ half of a five-dollar bill to start, the other half at the end of the hour. Learned that one the hard way. É Still can't get over how many people get the Trib via the Internet. Long-distance record may belong to Dave Oberkamper, who now resides in Dublin, Ireland, where he manages a home for the poor: penance, unless I miss my guess, for all the time he used to spend drinking with the rest of us at the Virginia Cafe.

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Commissioner Randy Leonard, home on doctor's orders after sinus surgery last week, has been following City Council action on cable TV. 'Not much fun,' he says. É Well, I could have told him that. É When she heard he was going to be gone, Mayor Vera Katz asked him what she should do if she needed him. He told her, 'Just look at the camera and say: 'Call in, Randy.' 'É Onward and upward: At the corner of Southeast 16th and Tacoma, where there's usually a lawn sale in progress, there's now a big hand-lettered sign that says, 'We Accept Visa.'

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The good news is that a team of researchers from Portland State University has teamed up with a physician from Providence St. Vincent to develop a robotic heart surgery technique. According to the news release, it's something called a 'heart stabilizer' and will 'fit through a 15 mm tube, self-attach to the heart, and independently stabilize and rotate the heart up to 280 degrees.' É The possibly bad news is that they presented it to the public at the Gourmet Deli, 6235 N. Basin Ave., out on Swan Island. É In case you were wondering what all that heavy equipment is doing down at the Multnomah County headquarters at Southeast Seventh and Hawthorne: They're in the process of lifting 100 tons of dirt onto the fifth floor for something called a 'green roof' Ñ at a cost to you the taxpayer of only a quarter of a million bucks. Before they're finished, they'll even plant grass and wildflowers up there. É Now that's real nice. But I've got a question: Does that mean they won't threaten to let the prisoners out of jail until it's time to raise taxes again?

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..