Notes from a sunny Grand Floral Parade: children blowing bubbles into the pre-parade sky. É Peter Pan and Captain Hook, pausing aboard the prize-winning Regence BlueCross BlueShield float to drink from plastic water bottles. 'Gotta stay hydrated in Neverland,' explains a miked-up Peter, played as usual by Portland's talented Adair Chappell. É The parade announcer at MLK and Burnside, ad-libbing as the 500-plus-piece One More Time Around Again Marching Band marches past playing 'Louie, Louie': 'Think they do weddings?'
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P-town's newest hot spot may be Aura, at West Burnside and 11th. Open just four weeks now, it's packing them in. É Be sure to check out the one-way mirrors in the restrooms. You can see out, but they can't see in. At least, I think so. É Don't look now, but Keanu Reeves, star of 'Matrix,' 'Matrix Reloaded' and undoubtedly 'Matrix Reloaded Returns,' may be coming to town. É Hollywood-based UPM Productions hopes to film a movie called 'Thumbsucker' here. As a matter of fact, they've already set up a production office in town Ñ but everything's on hold while the state decides whether to grant certain financial incentives.
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'Ah, Portland,' Chapter 87: On a hot Friday afternoon, just across from the Heathman Hotel on Southwest Salmon, a small crowd is watching two police officers as they attempt to extricate a small dog that's locked inside a car. When the cops can't get the door open, one of the officers breaks out a side window with her nightstick Ñ and the crowd cheers. É But is it because the dog has been saved, or because they get off seeing two of Portland's finest trashing a brand-new, gold Mercedes? É 'White trash, indeed!' says Portland writer John Dooley. 'I'm pigmentally challenged and underemployed!' É Still no word from the Big O on its use of this invidious phrase. Suppose we should hold our breath?
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Best new speed trap in town has got to be the eastbound on-ramp to the Banfield Freeway at 60th and Glisan. With the help of photo radar, the boys from the traffic division have been nailing unsuspecting motorists by the dozens. É Problem is, the on-ramp is side-by-side with a residential street that's posted for 25 miles an hour. But if you don't go faster than 25, you can't get into the flow of traffic on I-84. É I know of several angry ticket recipients who plan to fight this one in court. É The new long-distance Tribune reading record belongs to Brandon McCallister, who reports that he last checked out the Trib Ñ via the Internet, of course Ñ in Rome. Brandon, who lives on Northwest Kearney, has been backpacking around Europe. Buon viaggio, Brandon.
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Bruce Wilson, who pilots Radio Cab No. 96, submits this authentic tale of Portland derring-do: Back in the early '50s, Portland police officer Elmer Loos and his partner were parked outside the old Egyptian Theater on 20th and East Burnside, when a man who had just happened to stick up the theater burst outside. Figuring the jig was up, the robber put a gun to the head of Loos' partner. At that point, Elmer, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, rolled out of the car, took aim underneath the patrol car, and opened fire at the guy's ankles. Got him, too. É When it was all over, Elmer apparently was no worse for wear. His partner, however, went in the next day and turned in his badge. 'Can't say I blame him,' says Bruce.