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April 2nd, 2003 | Winners & Losers
 

From Pill Hill to Tigard--in seven days.

     
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WINNERS

1) More good news for Oregon Health & Science University and a mob of developers, whose schemes for the North Macadam district hinge on a "sky tram" between Pill Hill and the Willamette River. Now a Swiss-American firm has won a design competition for the aerial tram, moving the whole concept one step closer to reality.

2) Boozehounds are toasting the efforts of legislators, the governor and the liquor industry to break the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's stranglehold on the spirits biz. A hangover from the end of Prohibition, the OLCC has regulated the state's flow of hooch for 70 years, overseeing the sale and distribution of a record-breaking $140 million worth of the hard stuff last year. N' thas'a lotta shosh....

3) City Commissioner Erik Sten doused the flames of patriotic fury that threatened to engulf the Portland Fire Bureau Deputy Chief Gary Warrington, who ordered firefighters to remove U.S. flags from their engines for fear of antagonizing anti-war protesters. Narrowly averting a PR disaster, Sten hurriedly restored Ol' Glory to the fleet.

LOSERS

1) Oregon's low-income transplant hopefuls--and that's most of 'em--face a grim prognosis thanks to recent Medicaid cuts in prescription coverage. Transplants don't work without costly drugs that prevent recipients from rejecting the second-hand organs. Because poor patients can no longer pay for those drugs, local hospitals are taking them off the transplant waiting list--so be kind to your liver.

2) The state Public Utility Commission turned down a Utility Reform Project request to investigate whether PGE ratepayers should receive a refund for tax payments collected but apparently never paid to the government. The PUC, under whose authority PGE collected the money, says it lacks the authority to determine whether the money was properly handled.

3) The dynamic, vibrant suburb south of Beaverton--yes, we're talking about Tigard--burst its bubble when the organizer of the Tigard Festival of Balloons grounded the $80,000, three-day Rose Festival event to a lack of financial backing. Last year's sponsor, KGW, did not renew its contract.

 
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