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This little piggy went for a swim

Who says nothing exciting ever happens here during the summer?

… Why, just last week about 5 p.m., on the Fourth of July, in fact, everybody was sitting outside Salty's on the Columbia, enjoying their drinks and a nice view of the river - when what should they see but a pink pig, about 100 yards offshore, swimming against the current. … Of course, management immediately placed a call to 911, but when no one showed line cook Josh Thorburn stripped down to the bare essentials, and to the tumultuous cheers of the onlookers, swam out and rescued the little porker - which, in case you're missing a pig yourself, is a young female (possibly a Lansing or a Yorkshire) 3 feet long and about 50 pounds. … Restaurant manager Linda Addy says the pig, which they've nicknamed Peaches, currently is residing at a local farm, waiting for her owners to call Salty's.

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And then, of course, there's always those UFO sightings: In this case, five, then seven, luminous red discs, hovering briefly over downtown Portland before streaking off to the south, shortly before midnight April 29. … The National UFO Reporting Center says it received half a dozen reports when it happened - but until now, though, no press. … Yes, I know, maybe people are just seeing things. … But if you ask me, whatever these sightings turn out to be, they're at least as newsworthy as all those politicians' utterances, which we continue to report with a straight face. … Speaking of which, Sam Adams, commissioner in charge of transportation, is pushing for parking meters on Hawthorne and Northwest 23rd, among other places. … Says they'll be 'good for business,' because of 'increased turnover'. … But if that's really Sam's argument, why not just enforce the one-hour or 30-minute limits currently on the books? … Because they want your money, that's why - and for all the usual reasons, they can't bring themselves to say so.

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What, you might well ask, are they putting in the water out there in Scappoose? … Both the winner of last week's Miss Oregon pageant, Donailee McGinnis, and first runner-up, C.C. Barber, are from the tiny (population 5,300) burg located just west of Portland. … 'And that's not all,' says Art Heerwagen, editor of the town's South County Spotlight. 'So is Miss July in Playboy' - OSU student and Scappoose High graduate Sara Underwood. … As for the water theory, though, Heerwagen isn't so sure. 'In any case,' he says, 'there are a whole lot of people walking around here who obviously haven't benefited from it one bit.'… Comic Steve Barkley, in town last week for a gig at Harvey's Comedy Club, says Portlanders have to be some of the hardest working people he's come across in his travels. 'Why, they're so eager to get to work the next morning, they're actually sleeping in their doorways.' Welcome to P-town, Steve.

More P-town fun facts: Did you know that when a boat on the Willamette needs to have the Steel Bridge raised, the bridge tender has to call Union Pacific headquarters in Omaha, Neb., for permission? (It is a railroad bridge, after all.)

… And what if they don't answer the phone back there? 'Sometimes,' says a veteran Portland Spirit captain, 'you've just got to wait.' … On a summer evening, like those we've been having lately, who could possibly object?

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. .