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January 18th, 2006 WW Editorial Staff | Winners & Losers
 

All hail men with hoses!

     
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WINNERS

Gov. Ted Kulongoski dodged a potential loss in this May's Democratic primary when ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber answered his one-man "Will I run again?" chorus with "I won't." One possible memo now that the ex-guv has stopped stringing folks along: "Dear John: Don't expect my help on your plans to overhaul health care. Sincerely, Ted."

Even if the hose-toters don't pose for nude calendars, Portlanders love their firefighters. In a recent city survey, firefighters enjoyed more than 85 percent approval in all neighborhoods. Compare that to the police, which got above a 75 percent approval rating in only one of the city's 70-some neighborhoods (Wilkes-Glenfair in Northeast).

Pass the hemlock. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Oregon's assisted-suicide law, keeping the Bush administration out of our state's medical business.

Bon appétit. The Donner Party, a synonym for cannibalism after its ill-fated 1846-47 crossing of the Sierra Nevada mountains, may have gotten a bum rap. Researchers from the University of Oregon and elsewhere found no physical evidence at the Donner camp's site that the pioneers ate each other.

LOSERS

The U.S. Attorney's Office used "trickery and deceit" while investigating accused crooks at Flir Systems Inc., according to U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty. The judge didn't exonerate the night-vision equipment company's former execs—charged with cooking the books—

but he tossed the case last week with a ruling that could have a huge impact in prosecutions of corporate fraud.

TriMet faces a $48,000 lawsuit from cyclist Randy Albright, who claims a driver stopped to let a passenger step off the bus and assault him in 2004. TriMet isn't commenting, but the suit comes months after the transit agency settled a big-bucks lawsuit filed by a Holocaust survivor who got roughed up on one of its buses.

KOIN-TV news staffers are facing layoffs after that station's recent purchase by the SJL Broadcast Group. A new automated production system will allow one person to do the work of nine. The new owners promise to keep the on-air staff intact. Damn, we were hoping for a hot new weather-bot.

 
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