It's official: The class act of Oregon athletics can be found in NoPo. The University of Portland women's soccer team macerated Notre Dame and heads to the NCAA semifinals in Texas this week. The Pilots, led by freshman phenom Megan Rapinoe, could go...all...the...way. Ticker-tape parade, anyone?

Ka-ching! The National Indian Gaming Commission gave initial clearance for the Cowlitz Tribe to build a half-billion-dollar casino and resort just up I-5 near La Center, Wash. Whew, just when we were worried there aren't enough nearby gambling options.

The City of Portland re-christened 82nd Avenue last week with the honorary title of Avenue of Roses. And why not? Among the strip's car lots, chain stores and dive bars, the prettiest rosebuds are the ladies working the strip in fishnet stockings.


Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto sure got bitch-slapped by his predecessor. Former Sheriff Dan Noelle said in a report this week that Giusto's request for $700,000-plus to open 114 mothballed jail beds doesn't explain how that could work without OT. Then, he accused Giusto of spending freely on time-and-a-half to butter up the corrections union that got him into office. Giusto slapped back, calling the charges so much political BS.

Score one more for the geniuses in the Oregon Legislature. The Oregonian reports lawmakers in 2003 made it easier for dangerous gun owners to keep their licenses by accidentally deleting a legal provision allowing sheriffs to yank licenses if the holders present a danger to themselves or others.

Oregon's economy looks better than expected, which means more tax dollars for the state's health programs, schools, cops and roads, right? Not exactly. Even if the rosy forecast proves true, Oregon's "kicker" law means any windfall goes back in 2007 to taxpaying residents and businesses.

Notre Dame football's win over middling Stanford means the University of Oregon will probably get squeezed out of the mega-bucks Fiesta Bowl game in Arizona. Doesn't seem fair, does it? The Fighting Irish have two losses and the Ducks only one. But Notre Dame's national following makes bowl organizers salivate. As for the Ducks' passionate in-state following, San Diego's Holiday Bowl ain't a bad consolation prize.