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May 7th, 2003 | Winners & Losers
 

Be prepared

     
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salmon lovers win
WINNERS

1) Bad bosses are gloating in their corner offices on word that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is under severe funding pressure. Budget cuts may force the beleaguered agency to eliminate 11 of its 114 staffers, meaning fewer investigators for complaints like on-the-job harassment and child labor violations. Quick, look busy!

2) That grinding noise was the sound of salmon lovers sharpening their knives. Three major grocery chains--Safeway, Albertson's and Fred Meyer--pledged to start labeling artificially colored salmon, meaning that consumers will now know if their dinner's rosy hue comes from a chemical pellet.

3) Continuing their impressive winning streak, the forces of darkness came out on top yet again: Qwest is now officially in the long-distance business in Oregon, meaning the telecom titan has whole new vistas in which to screw over subscribers.

LOSERS

1) A local judge shut down tin-pot tax tyrant Bill Sizemore's political operation, describing his foundation as "a sham charity" set up for Sizemore's own financial gain. Coming after a $2.5 million racketeering verdict last year, the injunction is sure to hit the signature sultan where it hurts.

2) Just in time for Oregon Public Broadcasting's pledge drive.... We already have the nation's shortest school year and its highest unemployment rate. Now, if state legislators follow through on their threat, Oregon will become the only state not to earmark any cash for its public broadcasting system.

3) State regulators drove another nail in the coffin of Portland General Electric when they released a draft report on the utility's alleged fraudulent energy trades during the power crisis of 2000-01. The report, penned by staffers at the Oregon Public Utility Commission, recommends a formal investigation into PGE's trades with its parent company, Enron.

 
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