While Paul Allen begs public officials to help his money-bleeding Trail Blazers, the team owner finally got to glimpse a rainbow behind the clouds. Forbes magazine last week jumped Allen from seventh to sixth on its list of the world's richest people, with assets estimated at $21 billion.

Oregon's burgeoning prison-inmate population is benefiting from a novel way devised by the Oregon Department of Corrections to defuse the hot tempers that come with no hope of early release. According to Sunday's Oregonian, convicts are cooling their heels playing video poker and low-fi war games.

In the latest financial bailout bone thrown by City Hall to Portland Public Schools, the district would get a guaranteed $13.2 million from the city next year. If the plan survives, that's more than 60 percent of what the district says it needs from outside sources to solve its looming budget deficit.


Tough week for Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who got cuffed around by the Oregon Education Association. The heavyweight teachers union is usually a campaign check-writing sugar daddy for incumbent Dems like the guv. But miffed over pension cuts he pushed through in 2003, the OEA declined last weekend to issue an endorsement for the May primary. See Murmurs, page 11, for more.

The Oregon Board of Nursing has been protecting some naughty nurses, according to the Portland Tribune. The paper reported that nurses in a program that lets them continue working while receiving treatment for substance abuse have continued to self-medicate, steal drugs and administer the wrong medications to patients.

An audit slammed Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto for a problem he's been bashed about before: overspending on overtime. The county auditor's office notes that Giusto hasn't even conducted a study to see what he could do to eliminate the need to cover shifts with OT. See Shut Up and Vote, page 8, for another Giusto challenge.