1) Seattle's corporate behemoths flexed their muscles in our humble state. First, Microsoft crushed an Oregon House bill that would have promoted open-source software (e.g., Linux) in government offices. Then mega-caffeinator Starbucks bought out hometown rivals Seattle's Best and Torrefazione Italia, which operate 11 stores in Portland.

2) Skirt-wearing 'Couverites don't have to worry that pictures of their underwear will end up on the Internet, now that Washington's Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a bill banning up-skirt photography without consent. The Supreme Court had previously ruled that enterprising pervs could legally--if pathetically--snap photos of people's undies in public places.


1) Another Keystone Kops episode for Clackamas County deputies, who inexplicably failed to remove a loaded .32-caliber pistol from the pocket of a suspect they arrested after a two-hour standoff. The gun was not discovered until the suspect was booked into jail in Oregon City.

2) The big losers in both the $11.2 billion governor's and legislative budgets released last week were state employees. Both proposals would slice nearly a billion dollars in salaries, benefits and pensions--the small hitch being that workers haven't yet agreed to the concessions.

3) Portland's most famous raisin wrangler was squeezed out last week. Claymation legend Will Vinton, best known for commercials pushing California's dried grapes, announced his departure from the studio that bears his name.

4) A 29 percent tuition hike spells tough times for cash-strapped students at Portland Community College. The increase, which goes into effect this summer, stems from a $20 million budget hole and raises the cost of a typical 15-credit course load roughly $600 per semester, from $2,025 to $2,610.