Oregon Republicans were promised a hand--and perhaps a hefty handout--when President Bush's campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, pledged to make the Northwest a priority in the Prez's bid for re-election.

Plucky porcupines finally got props. The similarly prickly state Libertarian Party named the Oregon native as its official mascot, insuring the next election will be a battle of quills.

Talk about "on the ground" advertising. Pizza Schmizza got national press and cheap labor by hiring the homeless to hold signs advertising the local pie chain and paying them in hot pizza, not cold cash. Wages, Shmages.


That dripping sound is Portland's water customers getting soaked--again. An audit of the faulty, 3-year-old billing system revealed new problems: Customers eligible for discounts didn't receive them, and the agency was slow to update accounts.

Fred Meyer may have found a use for all those frozen peas--icing the bruise it received when a store clerk in Salem searched the bags of state Sen. Margaret Carter, an African-American Democrat from Portland, a move that critics call racial profiling.