* State Sen. Kate Brown is the latest local pol to be bitten by Potomac Fever. Congressman Earl Blumenauer's refusal to rule out a mayoral bid next year has Portland Democrats scurrying to line up support should his 3rd Congressional seat become vacant. Sources say Brown has made at least one trip east to meet with potential donors--including EMILY's List, a group that helps raise money for pro-choice Democratic women candidates--and came back encouraged. She's not the only one in Salem thinking of a promotion, however. Fellow Dems Rick Metsger and Margaret Carter also are reportedly looking at what would surely be a crowded field. Over on the Republican side of the aisle, word is that state Sen. Bruce Starr is considering a run at Democrat David Wu in the 1st District, and Jackie Winters may challenge Darlene Hooley in the 5th District.
* There's a reason why it's called "The City that Works." To wit, check out what Anthony Bourdain, the man who brought us Kitchen Confidential and the reigning leader of the eat-lit crowd, posted about his recent stopover in P-Town on the website egullet.com: "The mushrooms in particular are awe-inspiring. And the local weed is spectacular...the 10 dollar steak from the Acropolis is not bad."
* Sam Walton has met his match. On Monday, a small crowd gathered at the Medicine Hat Gallery to hear Stacy Mitchell talk about her latest book, The Hometown Advantage: How to Defend Your Main Street Against Chain Stores...and Why It Matters. Mitchell supplied staggering stats about chain-store revenue. According to Mitchell, Wal-Mart witnesses a whopping 7 percent of amassed American spending, while Barnes & Noble and Borders command about half of the country's book sales. Among Mitchell's tips for keeping commerce small: broaden awareness about buying locally, and use tax credits and zoning to promote and protect neighborhood retail. Visit www.ilsr.org for additional information and resources.
* Putting the E back in PGE Park: A power outage added a bit of mystery to the first half of the May 29 Portland Timbers soccer match. Since the referee keeps the official time in a soccer match, the lack of a scoreboard didn't slow things down, but it's pretty sad when you lose the juice at a stadium named for a local electric utility. (Of course, as one wag noted, the "family" in "Portland Family Entertainment" has long been irrelevant to the hardcore, cussing hooligan fans.) What's that motto PGE is using? "We do this every day"?
* Murmurs hears the tinkling sounds of wedding bells at Multnomah County headquarters. County chairwoman Diane Linn will soon announce her engagement to her former aide John Rakowitz, the Multnomah County lobbyist for the Portland Business Alliance.