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Obama visit is TV time for politicos

On the town

Can't keep a secret in this town. … Early Tuesday morning, word started filtering out from employees at the Benson Hotel who'd been told to start wearing their ID badges to work because 'someone important' was coming. Then a couple hours later, everyone knew that someone was Barack Obama - who, of course, is appearing this morning at the Memorial Coliseum. … Big question from that point on: What local officeholders would be allowed to stand behind the rock-star politician, fresh from the triumph of his speech on race in America, when he hits the coliseum stage? … Live-wire City Council aide Brendan Finn has been buttonholing officials on behalf of the Obama campaign. 'So far I've got Randy and Sam,' he says, 'and I'm working on the mayor. I feel like I'm taking part in American history.' Who knows? Maybe he is.

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Now that he's sold his interest in Weenies and Bikinis, which peddled $20 Kobe beef hot dogs on the beach in Maui, Jon Farmer is moving back to P-town. … The cracked marketing genius behind - who could ever forget? - Tonya Hot Sauce and Jail Blazer Jam says he's got another hot idea he's ready to test on the market - Eliot Spritzer. 'Only problem,' he says, 'I'll have to sell it for $4,300 a bottle.'… With Frank Nudo out to pasture, the Skybox Pub and Grill, out on Southeast Milwaukie Avenue, appears to be the new hangout for the Nick's Coney Island crew. Meaning, of course, all the guys who grew up with him in the Garlic Gulch neighborhood around Division - and who used to come by every Saturday morning and sit around drinking free coffee at Nick's. … Skybox proprietor Dennis Vigna says Nudo himself dropped by for a drink earlier this week, dressed in slacks, a sports coat and open-necked shirt. … 'Frank,' Vigna said in what he hoped didn't sound like astonishment, 'you look like a million bucks.' … 'I'm retired now,' Nudo said. 'No more T-shirts.'

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Speaking of things Italian: If anyone knows of a better Italian restaurant in this town than A Cena, please let me know. Wandered into the restaurant on Southeast 13th Avenue the other night - and what a treat. … It's not cheap -'casual to elegant' is how they describe themselves - but not out of sight either. Try the white bean gnocchi with lamb stew. Might be the best $18 investment you ever made. … Worst potholes in P-town? No question about this one - it's Northwest 23rd Avenue or Trendy-third as it was known back in its better days. … The irony is that the city actually wanted to go ahead and fix the street last year, but the local Nob Hill Business Association begged City Hall to cease and desist. Afraid of losing all that business, I guess. … So for the benefit of all those who think I spend too much time ragging on Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams - let the record show you can't blame this one on him.

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Guy says to his wife: 'Start packing, I just won the lottery.' Wife: 'Fantastic darling, what should I pack? Summer clothes, winter clothes, spring?' Guy: 'Everything, I want you out by 1 o'clock.' … And that, believe you me, is one of the cleaner jokes you're likely to hear in 'The J.A.P. Show: The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy,' starring Wendy Westerwelle and Francine Raften, which opened last night at the CoHo Theater at Northwest 23rd Avenue and Raleigh Street. … Don't be a putz - order your tickets immediately.

Contact Phil Stanford by phone, 503-546-5166, or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..