* The Trail Blazers: Adults Damon Stoudamire and Shareef Abdur-Rahim depart; overpaid man-children Zach Randolph and Darius Miles stick around to welcome a new coach. The new skipper gets orders to be a hard-ass. Not exactly a recipe for kumbaya in the huddle, is it?
* The Portland Development Commission: Messing with the Portland "process'' always makes for an explosion or two. But when talk turns to the Burnside Bridgehead and conflicts of interest, stand back. With commission Chairman Matt Hennessee and Executive Director Don Mazziotti both hot-footing it out the door, City Hall appears quite happy to throw a little gas on the inferno.
* The Tram: Engineering nightmare plus an ever-growing budget and a shaky business plan equals more than one neighborhood plotz to come in OHSU's quest to connect Pill Hill to the South Waterfront. Instead of scouting spots to view St. Helens' next blast, how about heading up to the mountain to catch the view of this boondoggle-to-be?
* The Oregon Republican Party: That's not sulfur gubernatorial wannabes Kevin Mannix and Ron Saxton are smelling-it's the sweet aroma of a wounded incumbent who hasn't, shall we say, wowed his fellow Democrats. But before getting to take on Gov. Ted Kulongoski, these two must complete their own nuclear exchange for the heart of the GOP.
* The Multnomah County income tax: That ticking sound in the room? It's the bomb set to go off when the income tax goes away next year and schools, cops and social services start screaming for a replacement. Extend the tax and hear taxpayers shout about broken political promises. Replace the tax (anybody remember the blah-blah about a regional sales tax? No?) and listen as gored oxen bellow.