Amen to free speech! Hallelujah for hellfire evangelists! Street preacher Edward Gathright, known for lambasting harloty women and sinnin' gays in Portland's public places, got a dose of vindication last week from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled the city shouldn't have booted the man of God from downtown events.

Kazillionaire Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy got the go-ahead from state regulators for a $9.4 billion buyout of PacifiCorp, Oregon's second-largest utility. Customers shouldn't expect any rate reduction to celebrate. In fact, PacifiCorp has filed a request for a 13 percent rate increase.

And the winner remains...supporters of Portland's public campaign finance rules. Election officials said Tuesday that their recount of signatures turned in by opponents of the new rules again fell short of the number needed to get a repeal on the May ballot.


Taking the view that Paul Allen can't be dumb enough to think he can get one public dime for his Trail Blazers, the billionaire team owner still rates a loser. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe Allen's hat-in-hand tour could be a cover that lets him plead poverty in Portland so he can sell the team and go buy the Sonics in his beloved Seattle. If that isn't loserly enough, check out how Allen's Blazers are actually playing these days.

Portland's payday lenders are now on the hook for $1,500 each—the amount of an ongoing annual permit fee passed unanimously by the City Council last week. The council's new law doesn't cap the lenders' yearly interest rates, which often top 500 percent, but it does require them to offer struggling borrowers a payment plan and the right to change their minds about a loan within 24 hours.

Backers of the troubled proposal to relocate the Fire Bureau HQ a few blocks north to Old Town from its current site near Skidmore Fountain got bad news last week. In a Tram-like development, the Portland Development Commission now estimates project costs for the move are as much as 60 percent over the city's $22.2 million budget.