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April 30th, 2003 | Winners & Losers
 

Be prepared

     
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WINNERS

1) Last week's earthquake--the biggest to hit Portland in 40 years--sent a rumble of excitement through local seismologists. The temblor registered an underwhelming 3.9 on the Richter Scale--too small to cause any damage, but big enough to jar the city's landowners out of their complacency.

2) Gay Boy Scouts won a symbolic victory when the board of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, prodded by County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey, decided to bar the scouts from any United Way money after July 2004--unless the group drops its straights-only pledge.

3) University of Portland women's soccer coach Clive Charles and his 2002 NCAA championship team were named Grand Marshals of next month's Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. Charles, a rare ray of light in Portland's dismal sports landscape, reportedly beat out Simpsons creator Matt Groening for the marshal's baton.

LOSERS

1) The pressure mounted on Maher "Mike" Hawash, 38, the Intel software engineer arrested without charge March 20. After five weeks of silence, federal prosecutors finally accused Hawash of conspiring to aid al Qaeda and the Taliban. Hawash, a U.S. citizen born in Palestine, allegedly traveled to Hong Kong and China in October 2001, along with members of the so-called "Portland Six," in an effort to enter Afghanistan.

2) Enraged hunters and anglers cried fowl when they got wind of Gov. Ted Kulongoski's proposal to raise license fees and funnel the proceeds into--gasp!--education. The guv's plan would hike fees by a wallet-busting $10 per year and send $5 million to schools and other non-wildlife programs.

3) Portland's biggest 'burb earned its 15 minutes of fame when it was revealed that the unofficial deputy mayor of Baghdad, Gen. Jawdat al-Obeidi, until recently ran a limousine service in Beaverton. Unfortunately for our B-town brethren, al-Obeidi and his self-proclaimed boss were arrested by U.S. soldiers who lured them into a meeting with interim Iraq administrator Gen. Jay Garner.

 
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