* It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...Earl? Once again, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer has shown that "tough on crime" isn't just a motto, it's a lifestyle. In January 2002, the Portland Democrat called the cops and helped chase a drunk teenager who assaulted people at the Pioneer Square MAX stop. Two weeks ago, his aide Kathie Eastman was driving Blumenauer and Connecticut congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to the airport when they saw a two-car accident--and then the guy at fault driving away. "Follow that car!" Blumenauer said, again pulling out his trusty cell phone and dialing 911. Eastman pursued, but eventually lost him ("I didn't drive fast enough," she says). Not to worry, police were hot on the trail and got their man. At press time, there was no word on the suspect's identity or party affiliation.
* City officials do not know whether two of Portland's wealthiest businessmen--timber tycoon Peter Stott and car king Scott Thomason--will meet the April 30 deadline to refinance their deal to operate PGE Park. Nor do they know whether their partnership, Portland Family Entertainment, will pay the $1.3 million in back rent and other fees they owe or what the city will do if PFE misses the deadline. The only thing that the city knows for sure is that lawyer Steve Janik, whose law firm represents Stott's company and who has personally represented Stott on other matters, is still representing the city in its efforts to get Stott and Scott to pay up.
* Nothing like the prom season to give the local restaurant biz a needed boost. Nearly two dozen high-school kids from Vancouver hit Bluehour Saturday night. When asked whether the polite youngsters, decked out in tuxes, gowns and nosegays, tipped OK, the waitress said it was taken care of: "One of their mothers put it all on a credit card."
* Word on the Northwest Portland streets has it that Kiehl's, the Krispy Kreme of skin care, is eyeing a spot on 23rd Avenue. The kreator of kleansing koncotions since 1851, Kiehl's is as hip as the gooey kruller, but with only five other stores in the nation, even more exclusive.
* Chief Mark Kroeker has managed to keep himself out of the news lately, but a pal recently enjoyed national attention. Lorenzo Lamas, the former Harley-riding star of the cheeseball action show Renegade, apparently struck up a friendship with Kroeker when they both lived in Los Angeles. He often helped raise money for Kroeker's nonprofit, the World Children's Transplant Fund, and last year he headed north to help Kroeker hand out medals to Portland cops at a Portland Police Foundation fundraiser. More recently, on TV, Lamas handed out recognition of a different sort as a judge in the recent primetime reality-TV series Are You Hot: The Search for America's Sexiest People. His specialty was using a laser pointer to highlight the physical attributes of scantily clad female contestants.
* When you can park without paying in a Goodman parking lot, you know something serious is afoot. But customers at certain Star Park lots are being offered coupons for half-price and, in some cases, even free parking by Star's much larger rival. Probably just coincidence, but the word out of City Hall is that of the more than two dozen firms competing to manage the city's parking garages, the field is down to two: Star and the Portland Business Alliance. PBA folks have, with the Goodmans, run the city's lots for almost 20 years.
* Lemonade from lemons: Secretary of State Bill Bradbury is now touting his new "flag fund," which raises cash for state flags given to Oregon troops. What he fails to note is that he set up the fund only after his cash-strapped office took flack for refusing to give out such flags in March.