It was, to be sure, a fine gesture sending a $120 bottle of Billecart champagne to the woman several tables away who was celebrating her birthday: In fact, just the sort of gallantry you'd expect at El Gaucho, P-town's premier steakhouse. É Only problem was, the guy who sent it probably should have consulted more fully with his girlfriend before he did so. É Next thing you know, the birthday girl is over at his table, thanking him effusively for his kindhearted gesture. After so much of this, the girlfriend kicks birthday girl in the shins. Birthday girl kicks back, and before you know it, we've sure 'nuff got a catfight on our hands.

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Friends at KATU have been congratulating news anchor Paul Linnman with his escape from 'Rauschwitz,' as local media folks affectionately refer to the station now under the news directorship of Mike Rausch. É But Linnman, who just got a multimillion-dollar contract to do the morning radio show for KEX, isn't out of the woods yet. É A well-placed source back in KATU-land says the station wouldn't let Linnman out of his evening news rip-and-read stint even after Clear Channel, owners of KEX, offered to buy out the rest of his contract for $100,000. So, for the next year, he'll be doing both. É Linnman, who will neither confirm nor deny any of this, says he is 'thrilled with the new opportunity.'

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Yes, your honor, Dave Rogoway was exceeding the speed limit by as much as 14 miles per hour as he came tootling down Boones Ferry Road into Lake O but that didn't stop P-town's most ebullient diamond merchant from giving the judge a piece of his mind: 'Your Honor, I find it bizarre that I'm standing before you for going a few miles over the speed limit when I could have stolen your car without so much as a slap on the wrist.' É Didn't do him any good, of course. The judge fined him $114. But Diamond Dave says he got such a gratifying response from all the other ticket holders waiting their turn in the courtroom, he just might do it again. É R.V. Branham, editor of the local literary magazine Gobshite Quarterly, has the right idea. He starts his news release for the new summer edition which, by the way, contains an essay by Ursula Le Guin on the Patriot Act with the salutation: 'August Media Magi.' About time we hardworking members of the press got a little respect.

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Don't get caught in the middle of this one: There's a parking war going on between Holman's Restaurant and Esparza's Tex-Mex Cafe, which share a lot just south of Burnside on Southeast 28th. If you stray over the painted lines, you'll get towed. É New hope for those who have grown weary of yuppie brunches: Hannah Bea's soul food breakfast, every Saturday morning from9 to 11 at Northeast Shaver and MLK. Bassist Skip Elliott Bowman and guitarist Frank Tribble play along with the grits, eggs and bacon. É And while you're out boogieing this weekend, don't forget the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival in St. Johns. É Saturday night, lie back on your blanket and listen to Roomful of Blues which, as the advance publicity states, is 'the bigest national act we've ever had.' That's all right, I can't spell, either.

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..

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