* On Thursday, the National Lawyers Guild will announce plans to file a lawsuit over recent police actions during anti-war protests. The suits will be filed on behalf of three very sympathetic folks: Randy Lyon, a KATU-TV engineer whose station videotaped him being struck from behind by a police officer; Miranda May, a young woman pepper-sprayed in the face point-blank by two cops ("Tales of the Tape," WW, April 2, 2003); and Bill Ellis, who was thrown into the street by cops, handcuffed and pepper-sprayed for declining to provide identification. The guild plans to send videotape of the incidents to U.S. Attorney Mike Mosman and request that he investigate what they say is a pattern of civil-rights violations by Portland cops.
* Amid the barrage of anti-war protests last week, perhaps the most surreal came on Friday, when a crowd of 250 demonstrators, complete with a half-dozen black caskets, descended on the Portland Art Museum, which was hosting an elegant, members-only reception to launch a new exhibition of early American art. The protesters targeted the reception because U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, who voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq, was on the guest list. Smith's absence didn't stop the chanting, which most PAM patrons shrugged off. One exception: former U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield, who 35 years ago became the darling of doves with his opposition to the Vietnam War. Hatfield paused to ask a clutch of protesters, "Why do you hate America so much?" Then he ducked inside before anyone could answer.
* City Commissioner Jim Francesconi has enlisted Gordon Smith's chief fundraiser, Lori Hardwick (the wife of Republican political guru Dan Lavey), to load his piggy bank for an expected 2004 mayoral bid. Hardwick helped Smith raise about $6 million to beat Bill Bradbury last fall.
* Tired of the spirit-numbing impotence induced by high CNN dosage? Mercy Corps, a Portland-based international humanitarian organization, now boasts a website that allows browsers to donate to the Corps' Iraq relief effort with a minimum of pain and Sally Struthers exposure. The effort, which aims to raise $2 million in two months, also lets you track donations in real time to see how close total and daily goals are. Web-cruise to www.mercycorps.org/iraq, with your plastic in hand.
* Car king Scott Thomason has decided to move on. His private residence wasn't up to the standards of an Iraqi presidential palace, but those who have visited his home on Northwest Luray Circle claim it wasn't too shabby. Asking price? $5.5 million.
* With a wee bit of careful cropping, the folks at the Portland Tribune were able to clean up the self-portrait of artist Tony Tasset that appeared in the March 28 edition of its Cue entertainment section. The photo, titled I Peed My Pants, came courtesy of PICA, which is sponsoring an exhibit of his works, and included a puddle at the bottom of Tasset's wet left pant leg. In the Trib, however, the puddle is magically gone (as is any reference to the portrait's title).
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"I've been hit by a lot of things. That was a first."
--Portland Police Comdr. Dave Benson, who says he was hit by a one-pound jar of Jif peanut butter during the March 20 clash with protesters on the Steel Bridge.