At Stephano's, the new restaurant on Southwest Washington, you're greeted by a doorman wearing a high-tech microphone on his head. Inside, two or three other similarly wired young men, looking slightly flushed with the excitement of it all, can be found going about their business. It all seems a bit melodramatic. On the other hand, the food's quite good.

Pool hustler Brad Gowin, who once won $100,000 in an evening from a millionaire in Roseburg, says Portland is a 'nit town' when it comes to pool. Now what does he mean by that? 'You can't find a high-stakes game here to save your life.' Brad, who's off the road now, can be found teaching his craft at Cue's Billiard Club, at 160th and Stark. É Nit town, huh?

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There's gotta be an easier way to make a living. John Fletcher, president of Container Recovery, reports that the latest scam in his corner of the world is to photocopy labels from two-liter soda bottles, then glue them to plastic water bottles, which, of course, would otherwise not be worth the nickel to which the bearer is now entitled. 'After a while, you see 'em all,' says John.

Ray Tillotson, proprietor of Ray's Ragtime, the retro clothing store on Southwest Morrison, has offered to peddle Little Rusty's book Ñ the one inscribed to the former Portland madam by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas Ñ on eBay, the Internet auction site. Ray, who does a lot of business on the Internet these days Ñ he once sold a fishing lure for $6,999 Ñ says it's 'a valuable piece of memorabilia,' which, if handled correctly, might fetch a goodly sum. Here's hoping.

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Before Prohibition, the American drink of choice was not beer, not wine, not even whiskey Ñ but hard cider, says Peter de Garmo. De Garmo, owner of Pastaworks on Hawthorne and head honcho of the local chapter of the Slow Food Society, which promotes local 'artisan' food and drink products, particularly recommends White Oak Cider from Newberg, which is available at several Portland stores, including his own.

Dick Bogle, who's done time as a vice cop, TV anchor, city commissioner and now jazz writer (see his story on Thara Memory today in Cue), also happens to be a pretty fair photographer. For Black History Month, he's presenting a photo exhibit of Portland's early musicians. It is at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, in North Portland.

Funnyman Boats Johnson says he heard a report on CNN that since Sept. 11, cigarette smoking has increased 16 percent nationally. 'They'll get no argument from me,' says Boats, who just returned from a tour of the hinterlands. At one particular club in Washington, 'It was like playing inside a forest fire.'

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'For your safety, and the safety of others,' reads a sign over the north entrance to the Rose Garden, 'we reserve the right to refuse admittance to anyone who may create a hazard due to wet clothing.' É Never fear, says the nice lady at the Blazer office. No one's ever been thrown out of a Blazer game for being wet. Besides, it's not meant for people who've been soaked by the rain Ñ which everyone concedes, might make it a bit difficult to enforce in Portland Ñ but for those who've been running though the Rose Garden's outdoor fountains. Hey, I forgot to ask her how they can tell the difference.

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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