1) We may have one of the shortest school years in the country, but "The Nation's Report Card" shows Oregon students ahead of the class when it comes to reading skills.

2) Blazer owner Paul Allen got rare kudos for a hiring decision by picking the astoundingly respectable Steve Patterson as team president. The former head of the NFL's Houston Texans was twice runner-up for the NBA's Executive of the Year award when he was with the Houston Rockets.

3) Beaverton nabbed dual honors last week with the news that our western 'burb will play host to the filming of Thumbsucker, featuring Keanu Reeves as a good-hearted orthodontist, and provide a more permanent home for Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, who has taken a job with the Beav's Open Source Development Lab.

4) According to reports from the frontlines, Oregon's plucky red rock crabs are winning an epic undersea battle against invading forces. Local marine biologists have found that European green crabs, who spread all over the world by hitchhiking on ships, have learned to steer clear of our tough, native crustacean warriors.


1) The Oregon Fraternal Order of Eagles had its tail-feathers plucked when a Marion County judge ruled that female Eagles--currently relegated to an auxiliary corps--must be admitted as full-fledged members.

2) Portland Fire Station 42 got burned--literally--after welders working to give the station a seismic upgrade left and their still-hot welds ignited nearby wood. The cost to the unused firehouse: a not-so-cool $2,000.

3) Oregon librarians searched their dictionaries for synonyms for "defeat" on Monday after the Supreme Court ruled libraries could be forced to place filters on their computers.