Oregon's hunger rate isn't worst in the nation any more. Thanks to a harder push on getting food stamps to folks, Oregon has improved since 2001 to become the 17th-hungriest state. Improvement? You bet. Brag point in "Come to Oregon" brochures? Not exactly.

The Department of Environmental Quid Pro Quo? Industrial polluters scored last week when the state agency proposed a rule to allow more murkiness in some streams, blocking sunlight from river plants and salmon from seeing their food. An alliance of paper mills—many of which dump in the Columbia River—contributed over $100,000 toward the cost of drafting the proposal.

The Housing Authority of Portland won a $16.8 million federal grant to bulldoze and rebuild the dilapidated, World War II-era public housing at North Portland's Iris Court. The new Iris Court will house up to 129 low-income families.


Ssssh. If we're all quiet, we can hear the crumbling of the Bush White House from here. An indictment in the inner circle, the grim milestone of the 2,000th U.S. death in Iraq, the collapse of a Supreme Court nomination. We've got three more years of this?

Capitol news coverage took a beating after KATU's Salem reporter, Eric Mason, resigned last week under pressure. His problem: Democratic Rep. Kelley Wirth, already caught up in a meth and janitorial-sex scandal, claimed she and Mason had violated the "no boinking on the beat" rule from Journalism 101.

The family of Fouad Kaady, who was fatally shot by police in Sandy Sept. 8, got no help last week from a grand jury that ruled the shooting was justified. The officers claimed they felt threatened because Kaady—who was naked, unarmed and severely burned—was acting combative.

Mount Hood's coniferous trees are providing three squares a day for the bark beetle, now turning evergreens red—and dead. The beetles are attracted to stressed trees, possibly more abundant now because of climate change and fire suppression. Experts estimate the loss at 300,000-some trees in two years, the most widespread destruction in a half-century.