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May 14th, 2003 | Winners & Losers
 

Play Ball

     
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Mark Kroeker, loses
WINNERS

1) Despite another first-round playoff exit for the town team, Portland sports fans had two reasons to cross their foam fingers and cheer. First, Blazer honcho Bob Whitsitt finally realized that people in this town might not like him and wisely resigned. Then the city made itself a more attractive Major League Baseball franchise destination as a bill to finance a stadium passed in the Oregon House.

2) Longtime critics of salmon-chewing dams shouted "told you so!" last week when U.S. District Judge James Redden ruled that the feds' plan to protect fish (which avoided dam breaching) was overly dependent on questionable assumptions and vague promises.

3) The delicacy may still be overfished, but caviar connoisseurs with a social conscience (and we're sure you're out there somewhere) can edge closer to the buffet. Police and feds raided a black-market sturgeon operation among Woodburn's Russian population. Immigrants are suspected of trafficking white sturgeon apparently poached from the Columbia River by Native American fisherman, and selling the eggs to makers of the pricey delicacy. Fishy business, indeed.
LOSERS

1) Last week was rough for Police Chief Mark Kroeker. First there was a report from the influential City Club blaming him for the bureau's poor relations with the community. Then, those relations were severely tested after an officer fatally shot an African-American woman as she tried to drive away from a traffic stop. Hey, is there still a job opening in Glendale, Ariz.?

2) By now, members of the Public Employees Retirement System must feel like donkeys at a kids' birthday party. Last week, legislators pinned three more bills on the nearly 300,000 PERS members, the sum of which will save billions of taxpayer dollars if enacted but could shift retiree dinners from caviar to chicken salad.

3) Goodbye, health care! Arrivederci, education! The state's fiscal heart may be broken, but we can all chuckle through our tears as we follow the antics of those madcap Doonesbury kids. A new series began Monday documenting the hijinks of some Oregon youngsters and their teacher, Mr. Miggleby, who face familiar budget bugbears. Oregon's education reputation was already tarnished by Garry Trudeau in a Doonesbury series that ran in February.

 
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