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April 16th, 2003 | Winners & Losers
 

From salmon to Salchows

     
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fast-food fiends lose
WINNERS

1) The heavy rains of March brought some rare good news for Oregon fish, as twice-normal precipitation made it less likely that endangered salmon will be chewed up by the legions of hungry turbines that lurk within the state's hydroelectric dams. The overall outlook is still dry, but not as parched as it seemed in February.

2) After 13 years on the run, Multnomah County's only school for homeless children has finally found a permanent roost. The nonprofit Community Transitional School, which offers classes from preschool through eighth grade, has moved into the former St. Stephen's School in Southeast's Sunnyside neighborhood. (For more info, check out www.transitionalschool.org.)

LOSERS

1) The Bush administration is threatening to withhold $45 million in Medicaid funds--which pays medical bills for Oregon's poor, elderly and disabled--unless state officials can explain a bit of creative accounting that funneled millions of dollars in federal money through rural health districts. Described as "legalized money laundering" by one state official, the scheme has its defenders, who say it has helped plug yawning deficits in recent years.

2) Local ice skaters found their hearts melting at news that the ice rink at the Clackamas Town Center will close this weekend. Back in the day, the rink was the sanctum sanctorum of the Tonya Harding Fan Club, where legions of admirers watched their idol practice her triple axels. Now Tonya's just another has-been and the rink just a frosted memory.

3) Neither special sauce nor super-sized sodas could wash away the taste of disappointment for fast-food fiends in Northeast Portland. McDonald's Corp., which
sustained losses of $343.8 million in the last quarter of 2002, has decided not
to open a restaurant on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The proposed site provoked yelps of protest from vegans, Hindus and neighborhood residents.

4) Frank Fromherz, peace and justice director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, says he was fired for being a little too frank in his anti-war statements. The archdiocese blames budget cuts, but Fromherz, who held the
position for 12 years, says he was fired for ignoring repeated warnings to tone it down from his boss--
the one in Portland, not Rome.

 
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