This week, our fickle finger of shame lands in three separate counties, resulting in a rogues' gallery of minor miscreants stretching from Sandy to Salem.
First stop is beautiful downtown Gresham, where some of the nation's best jazz musicians performed at the 22nd Mount Hood Jazz Festival. The fest was a big success, with one glitch: As music lovers entered the sunny confines of Main City Park, helpful volunteers inspected their picnic baskets and ripped the labels off any containers of bottled water. Festival organizers say they were simply complying with a policy of allowing only "personal" water containers into the event. But officials at Aerion Water, a Sandy-based water company which co-sponsored the festival, conceded that in past years they've made it known that they don't like seeing competitors' bottles at the event. Of course, it could have been worse; the festival could have banned bottled water from the event altogether.
Next, we give a gentle tsk-tsk to State Treasurer Randall Edwards, who is vacationing in Mexico as the Oregon Legislature begins month eight of the Longest Session in History.© Treasury staffers assure the Rogue Desk (which itself took a week off in mid-July) that Edwards is in daily contact with them, but the absence of the state's top financial officer doesn't add any sense of urgency to the proceedings in Salem and comes as several financing schemes, which could hurt the state's credit rating, are being floated in the Capitol.
Finally, we come to John Stanley, a Clackamas contractor who last week was nipped by state consumer watchdogs for "using a fraudulent come-on" to entice homeowners to pave their driveways. According to Department of Justice investigators, Stanley's Rose City Paving solicited jobs by going door-to-door with a bogus story about having surplus asphalt from a nearby job which would allow the homeowner to get a "reduced" rate. Under an agreement with the state, Stanley did not admit to violating any laws but did pay a $5,000 fine to the state's consumer-education fund.